Beki Grinter

Posts Tagged ‘women’

Diversity and Service

In academia, academic management, computer science, discipline, women on February 4, 2013 at 8:15 am

As I mentioned in a previous post recently I read this article about the advantages of being married for male academics versus the disadvantages of being married for women academics. It’s left me with a lot of questions. And being inspired by  Female Science Professor‘s question “why don’t more senior women in STEM blog?” I want to continue

In addition to teaching, research, and publishing responsibilities, service constitutes a major part of a professor’s career. … The gender breakdown within a department plays a significant role. Typically, there are more men than women within a discipline, and yet committees seek as much diversity as possible. Women, then, are often asked to do double the amount of service as men, a number that increases for women of color. While service is certainly considered when promoting, publications play a much larger role.

I understand the logic, to have a diversity of representation/voices at the table and so forth. But this is clearly the flip side of it, that women and minorities can get over-serviced. And since time is limited, service will eat into other important activities like research and teaching. This is a serious problem. But I don’t know what to do to change it. In the long-term we do need to recruit and retain women and minorites in STEM, but what do we do in the short-term? There seems to be a conflict here: we want to hear from diverse voices but in so doing we ask them to participate in things that compete for their precious research time.

One short-term piece of advice I would offer to anyone who fits this potential category, is to be very aggressive about saying no. Benchmark your service against a non-minority in your department at your rank. Do no more. (Read studies such as Link et al. “A time allocation study of university faculty” to see broad trends and uneven distributions as a reminder to do no more.)


Dual Body: Question about Women in Academia

In academia, academic management, computer science, discipline, empirical, research, women on April 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

I saw this post on Mark Guzdial’s blog. The last point intrigued me

About 82% of technical women have a partner who works fulltime, compared with 37% of technical men. (Anita Borg Institute)

I wonder what the ratios are for women in academia? I wonder how many have a partner that also works in academia as well as having a partner who works, and how that compares with men in academia. Also I wonder whether it varies by discipline at all. Does anyone know?

Women Scientists

In academia, academic management, women on August 8, 2011 at 9:11 am

The New York Times had an article, actually a discussion among four female scientists about their careers in Science and what it took. They discuss a range of issues, not always agreeing, on how you balance a life in Science with a life outside of Science, career advice they would give their children, the need for Institutional support to help women manage their careers, and so forth. It’s a good read. It’s also just good to see more examples.

What we need is more examples. I’ll do my best to set an example, and I am lucky to have colleagues who are senior to me and who I can draw on. But, just as their is not one career path for men, surely there is more than one for women also. Examples are helpful in sorting out what you think is right for you and what less so. More examples might also open up conversations about how differing biographies shape life choices, I might relate more to some than others. So, thank you to these women and all the others, they are examples. Its just I think we could use some more.

Oh and I can’t help wondering whether one of them is Female Science Professor.