Causes for Concern

  1. No effort to develop a sense of community or to improve the climate in a department for all faculty and students. Denial that such issues do matter to people.

  2. A sub-critical mass of female faculty postdocs and students in a department. Ideally, there would be a good representation of women in all areas.

  3. No visible leadership roles for female faculty in the department (e.g. female faculty rotating into positions such as Associate Chairs, Chairs of search committees, Department Chair, etc.)

  4. Premature departure of female students, postdocs or faculty.

  5. Lack of interest on the part of excellent female graduate students and postdocs to pursue academic positions elsewhere.

  6. Lack of interest on the part of excellent female undergraduate students to pursue graduate school.

  7. Lack of promotion of female faculty at all levels.

  8. Isolation or marginalization of female faculty.

  9. Derogatory comments about female faculty to reduce their ability to bring about change. Branding faculty as “difficult” or “troublemaker”.

  10. A highly politicized climate where decision-making processes are not transparent. Female faculty and indeed all faculty do better in departments that are well run and where faculty “buy-in” to the continued success of the department.

  11. Inability on the part of senior female faculty to get sufficient laboratory space, research funding, or other resources needed for them to become leaders in their fields.

  12. Strong support for junior faculty who are not in a position to drive change, but weak support for senior female faculty who attempt to change the climate. Problems do not end when female faculty are tenured - for example, the 1999 MIT Report documented increased difficulties for female faculty as they became more senior in terms of their ability to get lab space and equal pay.