594 Views
  1. Suzanna Rose
  2. Associate Provost
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Florida International University
  1. Sanaz Farhangi
  2. Research Assistant Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Florida International University
  1. Ashley Garcia
  2. Account Manager
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Florida International University
  1. Caroline Simpson
  2. Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Florida International University
  1. Kirsten Wood
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Florida International University

FIU ADVANCE

NSF Awards: 1629889

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Adult learners

The Office to Advance Women, Equity & Diversity at Florida International University (FIU) hosted a webinar to explore the pandemic's effect on the university's female faculty. The webinar brought together faculty from four different colleges, the faculty union, and the university administration, a conversation that was possible because of FIU’s multi-year commitment to institutional transformation through the NSF ADVANCE-IT program.

Over the past year, we have seen evidence in newspapers, on social media, and in personal conversations that many women are experiencing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in gendered ways.

Women in academia are no exception, and this is a problem for higher education. Without policies that pay attention to the gendered impacts of Covid-19, there's a real risk of not just delaying the progress that higher education has made in hiring, retaining, and promoting women faculty over the last thirty years, but even of reversing it. 

This risk is especially great for women faculty of color. On the one hand, faculty of color have not benefitted nearly as much from gender equity efforts in higher education as white women have done.  On the other, the pandemic has had especially severe impacts on communities of color, communities that already faced systemic inequities within and beyond higher education

 

References mentioned:

Myers, et al. Unequal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientists. Nature Human Behavior 4, 880–883 (2020).

Andersen et al. Meta-Research: COVID-19 medical papers have fewer women first authors than expected. eLife, 2020.

Shillington, et al., 2020. Commentary: COVID-19 and Long-Term Impacts on Tenure-Line Careers. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 11(4) (2020).

Deryugina et al., 2021. COVID-19 Disruptions Disproportionately Affect Female Academics, National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (13 posts)
  • May 11, 2021 | 10:37 a.m.

    Hear, hear!

  • Icon for: Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual

    Facilitator
    Research Scientist
    May 11, 2021 | 07:13 p.m.

    This video shows a the reality of the impacts of COVID-19 on women faculty. I appreciate that both the description and the video address how the situation is even more dire for women of color. 

    From what I gather from the description and the video, this video resulted from the webinar that brought together these six women to discuss the impacts of the pandemic on women faculty. What is the role of the webinar within the context of the NSF ADVANCE-IT program? Can you share the activities and impacts of the program as a whole, beyond the webinar? 

  • Icon for: Ashley Garcia

    Ashley Garcia

    Co-Presenter
    Account Manager
    May 12, 2021 | 11:13 a.m.

    Thanks for watching! FIU ADVANCE is aimed specifically at developing strategies to increase the number of women and minority professors in STEM and SBS at FIU, which includes retention and promotion as well as recruitment. The purpose behind the webinar was to explore potential COVID-related issues with retention and promotion as we move forward.

    FIU ADVANCE is now entering its final year, and we offer a number of activities and programs that focus on inclusive excellence and institutional transformation. Our signature program, the Bystander Leadership Program, is a behavioral skills training program that educates faculty on implicit bias by raising awareness about the interplay between power, privilege, and bias often experienced by women and minorities. It then provides them with practice using a range of responses and actions that can be used to address instances of bias and to increase inclusion. Bystander was named the winner of the 2020 Council for Advancement and Support of Education Platinum Award in the category of Best Practices in Diversity Programming.

    Our various STRIDE workshops (Strategies and Tactics for Recruitment to Increase Diversity and Excellence), facilitated by faculty members and institutionalized across the university, have been attended by more than 700 unique participants, the majority of whom found the workshops to be effective in helping them understand the benefits of having a diverse faculty and the role of stereotypes in career advancement, and in finding ways to address these issues.

    Colleges and departments are now required to have a faculty diversity, equity and inclusion plan, and we've created initiatives such as the Diversity Mentor Program, which recruits multiple excellent STEM faculty to FIU who have a history of and commitment to the mentorship of women and underrepresented minority students in STEM, particularly Hispanic-American and African-American students, and the College Equity Advisor program, which help to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are considered in all aspects of the college’s academic life.

    More information about all of our activities and programs is available at https://advance.fiu.edu/. 

  • Icon for: Stephen Alkins

    Stephen Alkins

    Facilitator
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
    May 12, 2021 | 12:25 p.m.

    Thank you for this wonderful presentation and breakdown of the grant's activities.  What have been your results with the STRIDE workshops, in terms of successful recruitment of diverse faculty?

    It would seem that this webinar would be integral components of all of the programs under ADVANCE.  How has the success of the Bystander Leadership Program been measured?

  • Icon for: Kirsten Wood

    Kirsten Wood

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 01:08 p.m.

    In terms of STRIDE, we have shown incremental gains in hiring diverse faculty.  I would need to double-check the data, but I think our results have been stronger for STEM women than for faculty of color overall. 

    One result I have heard reported anecdotally from search committee members is much more widespread awareness of and compliance with best practices, but one "weak spot" is on the front end in networking and recruiting people to apply.  (I'm not sure whether you were thinking specifically about extending offers and having them accepted, when you mentioned recruitment.) 

    In part to that end, we have started requiring searches to have a "Diversity Advocate."  The DA gets extra training, is not necessarily a BIPOC and/or a woman, but is supposed to take the lead not only in ensuring the evaluation of files and treatment of candidates is equitable and continues to value diversity throughout the process, but also in targeting recruitment at the front end of the process.  (I think there's still a timeline issue there in some of our colleges, in terms of synching up the approval of an ad with the naming and training of a committee.)

    As for Bystander, our team is still analyzing the quantitative data from our post-intervention surveys, so we hope to be writing up those results soon.  We spent a lot of this year retooling our presentations for Zoom because of Covid, as well as creating new STRIDES for T&P committees, which in practice meant that we did not get everything we wanted to do on the research side.  I suspect -- I know -- we are far from alone in this!

  • Icon for: Overtoun Jenda

    Overtoun Jenda

    Facilitator
    Assistant Provost and Professor of Mathematics
    May 12, 2021 | 11:00 a.m.

    This is very informative. Has ADVANCE made specific recommendations to the administration to mitigate these risks to tenure and promotion women faculty are facing?

  • Icon for: Kirsten Wood

    Kirsten Wood

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 01:15 p.m.

    We are lucky to have a faculty union, and our MOU with the administration protected faculty with regard to both research and student perceptions of teaching.  But that MOU did not make specific reference to gendered impacts of Covid (and I'm not sure it could have done), so we have used other channels, such as participating in a training for chairs in which we had the opportunity to explore with them how to interpret the MOU in light of particular faculty circumstances concerning childcare, for example.  I collected a long list of suggestions and requests from female faculty about issues affecting staff and students as well as faculty, which has been shared with folks in the administration, and I suspect we could be working on items from that list for a long time.

  • Icon for: Sarah Kirk

    Sarah Kirk

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2021 | 10:46 a.m.

    As well as acknowledging the gendered specific challenges from COVID, did you provide the women with template language to help contextualize the challenges they have faced when discussing their own evaluation packages. It can be empowering and feel less isolating when an issue does not feel like a personal complaint but a broader systemic issue.

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2021 | 02:27 p.m.

    Interesting work! This is such an important conversation to be having-- thank you for doing this work! 

  • Icon for: Ashley Garcia

    Ashley Garcia

    Co-Presenter
    Account Manager
    May 17, 2021 | 09:03 a.m.

    A very important conversation, definitely. Thank you for taking the time to watch our video! 

  • Icon for: Hala Schepmann

    Hala Schepmann

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2021 | 03:20 a.m.

    I am very interested in your Bystander Leadership Training Program.  Is this program available for dissemination to other insttitutions?

  • Icon for: Ashley Garcia

    Ashley Garcia

    Co-Presenter
    Account Manager
    May 17, 2021 | 09:03 a.m.

    Thank you for your interest! If you send us an email at awed@fiu.edu, we'll be better able to provide you more information. 

  • Icon for: Hala Schepmann

    Hala Schepmann

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2021 | 09:17 a.m.

    Will do!  Thanks.

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