Publications focusing on ADVANCE Projects
The following publications are based on the studies conducted by the ADVANCE Social Science Studies Team:
The purpose of this paper is to describe a mentoring program developed at a large predominantly white research university that was aimed at retaining and advancing women faculty of color. The ADVANCE Scholar Program pairs each scholar for two years with a senior faculty member at the university who serves as an internal advocate, and with an eminent scholar outside the university who helps the scholar gain prominence in their discipline. This paper offers a case study of the ADVANCE Scholar Program. The authors describe the intersectional approach to organizational change in this conceptual framework and provide a brief overview of the institution and precursors to the development of the Scholar program. The authors describe the program itself, its rationale, structure and participants in the program. Overall, the program generated a positive reception and outcomes, and the authors suggest that such a program has the potential to make a positive difference in making the university a more supportive place for a diverse professoriate and recommend it as a model for adoption at other predominantly white research universities. By publishing the operations and the outcomes of this faculty mentoring program, we expect to contribute broadly to a more supportive campus climate for a diverse professoriate. We have developed, implemented, and continue to study this successful model to retain minoritized faculty scholars in the professoriate. Women faculty of color are often assigned to serve on committees to meet diversity objectives of the institution and are sought after by students of color from across the university, but this service is not considered. This program, the ADVANCE Scholar Program, pairs each scholar with a senior faculty member who serves as an internal advocate, and an external eminent scholar who guides the scholar in gaining national prominence. These efforts to retain and promote minoritized faculty scholars, altogether, have important implications on the pervasive issues affecting many members of academic communities at the individual, interpersonal and the institutional levels. This case study provides an innovative strategy to tackle the lack of role models and the experiences of social isolation that occurs for women faculty of color with multiply marginalized status. Hence, women faculty of color benefit from a valuable, institutionally supported, university-wide mentoring program designed to increase diversity of minoritized faculty in the professoriate ranks.
When the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Dr. Frances Arnold, an American chemist, the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, she became only the fifth female recipient in the history of this award. Such exceptions aside, women are largely underrepresented, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and especially at higher ranks in academia. A 2007 committee commissioned by the U.S. National Academies concluded that bias was largely to blame for a gender gap in the participation and status of women in STEM fields. Likewise, a large body of social psychological research has revealed that various factors contribute to creating a “chilly” or outright hostile work environment for women. This work environment signals to women that they are not welcomed or genuinely wanted. These factors are amplified for women faculty of color, who are disproportionately underrepresented in the majority of STEM fields, at all ranks.
In this chapter, we describe an intervention for institutional transformation to tackle barriers faced by women faculty of color at the university that make it difficult for them to succeed. The intervention, which we present in terms of a model to retain minoritized faculty scholars, features six phases of engagement, development, and advocacy by junior scholars and senior faculty advocates. The goal of these efforts is to make a predominantly White research university a more supportive place for a diverse professoriate. We suggest that other predominantly White research universities can usefully adapt this model.
Since its foundation in 2001, the US National Science Foundation’s (NSF) ADVANCE program has invested over $315m to support initiatives at more than 175 institutions of higher education (IHEs) and STEM-related nonprofit organizations. ADVANCE is a cross-disciplinary program focused on broadening the participation (BP) of diverse people and institutions. Programs within the ADVANCE portfolio focus on increasing the representation and advancement of women and underrepresented minorities (URM) in academic STEM careers, developing mechanisms to promote gender equity in the STEM academic workforce, and aiding in diversifying the science and engineering workforce. ADVANCE also seeks to contribute to the general knowledge research based on gender equity in academic STEM disciplines, encouraging IHEs to identify and address aspects of STEM academic culture and institutional structures that negatively affect women faculty. A seminal program within the ADVANCE portfolio is the Institutional Transformation (IT) grant, which provides large scale, multi-year funding to IHEs focused on fundamental organizational changes that should BP over the long term.
While no single journal issue can address each of the preceding challenges in the science and practice of BP, we do believe there is opportunity to highlight – in one place – the important and diverse work being done in the ADVANCE community. To this end, the aim of this two-part special issue of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal is to introduce the ADVANCE program to the larger academic community interested in issues related to gender equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education and the STEM workforce.
The purpose of this project was to examine the extent to which early-career women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experience working in a chilly interpersonal climate (as indicated by experiences of ostracism and incivility) and how those experiences relate to work and non-work well-being outcomes. Data came from a sample of 96 early-career STEM faculty (Study 1) and a sample of 68 early-career women STEM faculty (Study 2). Both samples completed online surveys assessing their experiences of working in a chilly interpersonal climate and well-being. In Study 1, early-career women STEM faculty reported greater experiences of ostracism and incivility and more negative occupational well-being outcomes associated with these experiences compared to early-career men STEM faculty. In Study 2, early-career women STEM faculty reported more ostracism and incivility from their male colleagues than from their female colleagues. Experiences of ostracism (and, to a lesser extent, incivility) from male colleagues also related to negative occupational and psychological well-being outcomes. This paper documents that exposure to a chilly interpersonal climate in the form of ostracism and incivility is a potential explanation for the lack and withdrawal of junior women faculty in STEM academic fields.
Increasing the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is one of our nation's most pressing imperatives. As such, there has been increased lay and scholarly attention given to understanding the causes of women's underrepresentation in such fields. These explanations tend to fall into two main groupings: individual-level (i.e., her) explanations and social-structural (i.e., our) explanations. These two perspectives offer different lenses for illuminating the causes of gender inequity in STEM and point to different mechanisms by which to gain gender parity in STEM fields. In this article, we describe these two lenses and provide three examples of how each lens may differentially explain gender inequity in STEM. We argue that the social-structural lens provides a clearer picture of the causes of gender inequity in STEM, including how gaining gender equity in STEM may best be achieved. We then make a call to industrial/organizational psychologists to take a lead in addressing the societal-level causes of gender inequality in STEM.
Since 2001 the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program has distributed over $130 million in grants to improve work climate, enhance professional success, and increase recruitment and retention of female faculty in STEM fields. The process by which each institution designs and implements these interventions is seldom studied, however. Using climate surveys, administrative records, and a difference-in-differences regression approach, we assessed whether exposure to the design and implementation process helps explain improvements in climate and retention during the early years of ADVANCE implementation. We found that departments wherein at least one faculty member participated in ADVANCE committee work experienced significant improvements in job satisfaction among female faculty members and significant reduction in turnover among female full professors, suggesting that the ADVANCE design process was itself an intervention.
Regular salary equity studies can be a best practice among employers committed to salary equity and fairly managed compensation. While a well-constructed salary study can identify inequities for amelioration, a poorly constructed study can create rather than solve problems. Organizations may be deterred from doing these studies because of their inherent analytical challenges. We provide a guide for human resource managers describing how to conduct their own salary studies, how to interpret the results, and how organizations can apply the results. We describe best practices across public sector organizations and illustrate them with an example from higher education. We also provide a link to an online appendix containing sample code that can be used to conduct such analyses using two popular software packages. The twin goals of the article are to increase the quality of salary analyses while reducing the barriers to conducting them.
The mission of the Texas A&M University ADVANCE IT project is to double the percentage of tenured women faculty in STEM disciplines in the next five years and increase the number and diversity of women STEM faculty at all levels at the institution. To this end, the project will organize activities related to gender equity around three major themes that include climate change activities, success enhancement activities and recruitment and retention activities. Collectively, these activities will be implemented with significant input from campus leaders who have formed a strategic collaboration that bridges engineering, science and social science disciplines and builds on previous ADVANCE accomplishments at other institutions. Intellectual Merit. The Texas A&M ADVANCE IT proposal is based on the psychologically healthy workplace model, which was established by the American Psychological Association and is expected to improve recruitment, reduce attrition and promote the success of STEM women faculty. Broader Impact. As a result of the proposed collaborative activity between this project and that at Prairie View A&M, the Texas A&M ADVANCE IT project has the potential to broadly impact women faculty in the STEM disciplines beyond its own campus to other campuses within the same system. Additionally, this project also focuses on raising awareness of implicit bias with students and staff at the institution. In doing so, this project will serve to impact new audiences that have been underserved by the ADVANCE community.
Relevant Publications by TAMU Faculty
Mainstream psychological research has been characterized as androcentric in its construction of males as the norm. Does an androcentric bias also characterize the professional visibility of psychologists? We examined this issue for cognitive psychology, where the gender distribution in doctoral degrees has been roughly equal for several decades. Our investigation revealed that, across all indicators surveyed, male cognitive psychologists are more visible than their female counterparts: they are over-represented in professional society governance, as editors-in-chief of leading journals in the field, as Fellows in professional societies, and as recipients of prestigious senior level awards. Taken together, our findings indicate that a gender parity in doctoral degrees in cognitive psychology does not translate into a parity in professional visibility. We discuss a variety of potential reasons for the observed gender gap and suggest that, without attention to gendered structures of status and power, as noted by Shields, existing gender hierarchies may persist and be reproduced.
According to Kram’s mentor role theory, satisfaction with mentoring and mentorship quality are key indicators of effective and successful mentoring. We contribute to mentoring research by demonstrating the relative importance of mentorship quantity, mentorship quality, and satisfaction with mentoring to the prediction of job satisfaction, affective commitment, and turnover intentions. Survey data from 472 faculty members revealed the importance of that satisfaction with mentoring in that it mediated the effect of mentorship quality on job satisfaction and turnover intentions, and it explained variance in three job attitudes above and beyond mentorship quantity and quality. Implications for organizational mentoring are discussed.