As members of the ADVANCE Leadership Team, we are often asked why we need an ADVANCE Center. Our response is below.
The mission of Texas A&M University is to “serve persons of all racial, ethnic, and geographic groups, women and men alike, as it addresses the needs of an increasingly diverse population and a global economy.”
The ADVANCE Center supports this mission by helping to recruit, support, and retain outstanding and diverse faculty who serve as role models for a diverse student body.
All the best minds are needed.
Women are underrepresented in higher education. Research demonstrates that multiple factors contribute to the underrepresentation of women in the Academy:
- Stereotypes and implicit bias;
- Culture, which developed to support the success of the majority, generates practices that discriminate against people different from the majority (e.g., lack of child care, partner placement);
- Students, unfamiliar with women faculty members, treat them differentially; and
- Women faculty members are not proportionally recognized for their research and scholarship.
The ADVANCE Center is focused on reducing these barriers to promote the success of women faculty.
Supporting current faculty is less costly than recruiting new faculty.
Texas A&M invests on average $450,000 to hire a new faculty member in a STEM field. Supporting the success of current faculty makes sound financial sense.
We support student success.
Research demonstrates that having women professors has a positive effect on all students by broadening their experience. Also, for women students, having women professors enhances their performance in math and science classes, their likelihood of taking future math and science courses, and their likelihood of graduating with a math, science, or engineering degree.
ADVANCE bolsters initiatives to improve the university climate.
ADVANCE initiatives to improve workplace climate for female faculty members benefit the entire university community.