Talking about Gender on Campus

Today we had the privilege of listening to Dr. Mary Coussons-Read speak about the gender climate on UCD’s campus. She discussed job satisfaction by department in regard to gender. 

Some memorable information she shared with us included statistics such as:

  • Women were twice as likely to report that senior colleagues do not support junior colleagues in their department “at all.”
  • Women are more likely to report feeling isolated in their departments (this is exacerbated by 1.5-2x for women in the STEM fields).
  • 75% of men think gender discrimination is not a problem in their department; only 43% of women agree. 
  • Most GLBTQ women find their sexual orientation to be a moderate or frequent problem in the workplace, whereas men’s responses were distributed more equally across the board. 

While none of this information came as much of a shock to us, we are so glad that researchers such as Dr. Coussons-Read are bringing attention to these problems in academia. Her study was specific to UCD (with a survey sample of 319 faculty members, approximately half-male and half-female), these trends are generalizable to many other American institutions. 

What are some good ways to combat these issues? We discussed better mentoring programs, more collaborative work and more flexible working policies. What are your ideas?

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