Men and Women Administrators Have Different Views on How Best to Retain Women in STEM Fields

Wendy M. Williams, professor of human development at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology, is the lead author of a study that finds that women department chairs, deans, and provosts have different attitudes and beliefs than their male counterparts about how to retain women professors in STEM fields.

Professor Williams and her colleagues designed a database of 44 potentially effective policies to recruit, retain, and promote female administrators in STEM. They asked provosts, deans, associate deans, and department chairs of STEM fields at 96 U.S. research-intensive universities to rate the quality and feasibility of each policy.

Female administrators gave higher ratings to many policies and strategies designed to improve the lives of women in science, the study found. And they disagreed with men about the value of some policies and strategies designed to retain female STEM professors and enhance their work lives.

“Women further endorsed greater flexibility with federal grant funding to accommodate mothers with young children, and they placed more emphasis on devoting university resources to conduct and disseminate gender-equity research than did their male peers,” the study said.

Professor Williams is the director of the Cornell Institute for Women in Science. She is a graduate of Columbia University, where she double majored in English and biology. Dr. Williams holds master’s degrees in physical anthropology and psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University.

The study, “Does Gender of Administrator Matter? National Study Explores U.S. University Administrators’ Attitudes About Retaining Women Professors in STEM,” was published on the website of the journal Frontiers in Psychology. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: FacultyResearch/StudySTEM Fields


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply