Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Workshops Needed to Enhance Gender Equity and Overcome Bias in Higher Education Against Men?

"The America Competes Act reauthorization is working it's [sic] way through Congress and the Association for Women in Science has been actively supporting the inclusion of initiatives to support women in academic science and engineering. We are very pleased to report that the proposed amendment offered by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson to the America Competes reauthorization, "Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science," was passed unanimously by the House Science Committee on April 28. The amendment includes support for workshops to enhance gender equity and outlines guidance for the collection of data on demographics of faculty for institutions receiving federal funding for science and engineering."

Sample text from the amendment:

"Activities at the workshops shall include research presentations and interactive discussions or other activities that increase the awareness of the existence of gender bias in the grant-making process and the development of the academic record necessary to qualify as a grant recipient, including recruitment, hiring, tenure review, promotion, and other forms of formal recognition of individual achievement, and provide strategies to overcome such bias."

MP: Given the huge gender disparities in higher education in favor of women at all degree levels from associate's degrees up through doctoral degrees (see chart above), shouldn't there be workshops to increase the awareness of gender bias that must run throughout all of higher education, and not just in STEM fields? If enhancing gender equity is a worthy goal, shouldn't colleges take active measures to overcome the underrepresentation of men at all levels until a 50-50 gender ratio is achieved? Or do gender imbalances only matter in one direction and not the other?

HT: Christina Sommers


At 5/05/2010 10:45 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

There is a more fundamental market failure in academia, it turns out to many Phds for the demand for them. Now days you spend 3to 5 years as a postdoc to maybe get a tenure track position. If you look at it from a system point of view a research professor should likely have between 2 and 3 students during the professors entire career. Of course this would kill the economic model of academia. No near slave labor any more!.
Academia runs a con game on undergraduates that leads them to believe that the life of a professor is good, (but its actually a terribly pyramidal profession).

At 5/06/2010 8:27 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Lyle, that system is only able to exist due to the government support of student loans. Private banks would never loan money to people who have only a slim chance of making a career out of their field of study.

As for the gender issues, I just have to shake my head. What the hell are they thinking?

At 5/06/2010 8:59 AM, Anonymous CompEng said...

Maybe this speaks to men not preferring an "advocacy culture". We don't believe whining about inequality is the best way to solve it, and I think most men feel they could do whatever they wanted to an an individual level. I guess women don't feel the same way.

At 5/06/2010 10:05 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

misterjosh, I suspect that a most of the grad students are supported on research grants and teaching assistantships, thru government grants not loans. This is how the professor gets his research done, using the near slave grad student to do the work. Again gov supported but not the loan path. Anyone getting a phd with student loans needs their head seriously examined, or else must be planning to emigrate. (The only way to beat the student loan system)


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