Thursday, September 20, 2018


Continuing the Gender Equity in Academia Conversation: Recommendations and Next Steps



Maria J. D’Agostino
@MJDPhD

Nicole M. Elias
@NicoleEliasPhD

On July 3, 2018, we posted our summer blog thread, “Big Questions Surrounding Gender Equity in Academia and the Field of Public Administration”. The response we received from journal editors, board members, and leaders in the field was impressive and eye-opening. Throughout the summer our blog contributors reflected on women’s roles in academia, specifically public administration, with the goal of considering next steps and new ways of thinking and taking action to advance women in public administration. Some recommendations include promoting oneself and others, speaking up on behalf of untenured faculty, identifying collaborators, being transparent in selecting journal editors, and citing and including more work published by women in course materials and research.

Patricia Shields, editor of Armed Forces & Society, notes how her perspective as a woman contributed to editorial decisions. She proposes several means to increase the visibility and impact of women’s ideas and scholarship in public administration, including not to be shy and promote our work via conferences and social media. Similarly, Staci Zavattaro, editor of Administrative Theory & Praxis, recommends that we know our worth, be confident and kind as we stay true to ourselves. She also reminds us that we cannot do this alone and suggests to “find your tribe” and make that group of scholars your home and support. In addition to being supportive of female colleagues, and promoting oneself, Carole Jurkiewicz, editor of Public Integrity, offers actions we can take to mitigate organizational and cultural barriers for women. Specifically, she emphasizes the need to advocate for and speaking up on behalf of non tenured female faculty.
Recognizing the “Power in Editorial Positions: A Feminist Critique of Public Administration,” Mary Feeney, incoming editor of Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory,  Lisa Carson, and Helen Dickson argue that it is time to address the inequity of women in editorial leadership positions and suggest a range of personal, interpersonal, and structural strategies to combat these inequities, including the establishment of transparent search and selection criteria for editorships. Such changes, as highlighted by Hillary Knepper, Gina Scutelnicu, and Rebecca Tekula in  A Tale of Two Journals: Women’s Representation in Public Administration Scholarship, are essential for women’s success in the academy. Knepper, et. al find that women publish less than men, with men producing twice as many peer-reviewed articles as their female counterparts. They recommend that women cite other women’s work to increase visibility and citation counts.  Megan Hatch reminds us that inclusion and creating a sense of belonging starts with the MPA curriculum. She suggests that one way to make women feel included in public administration is to include more women authored research in our syllabi. She introduces us to the Gender Balance Assessment Tool (GBAT) developed by Jane Lawrence Sumner to test the gender balance of our syllabi. More resources like the GBAT could remedy some of the challenges our contributors identified throughout the summer blog thread.
So, what comes next? To date, more than sixteen blog participants have contributed to the WPS blog, a forum that was created a year ago to consider the role sex/gender plays in public service and how that shapes the way we think, govern, and are served by sex/gender identities and markers. As we start off the new academic year, we hope to continue the conversation and encourage readers to undertake practices outlined by our guest bloggers. As a first step, WPS, in collaboration with Megan Hatch and Academic Women in Public Administration (AWPA), we will develop a shared database of articles authored by women in in public administration to help facilitate the creation of more inclusive syllabi and research, provide a forum to promote ourselves, and create a supportive community of scholars and practitioners. Our hope is that this blog thread provides a starting point for thinking creatively and taking action toward greater gender equity in academia.

Please share any thoughts or feedback with us at wps@jjay.cuny.edu

Monday, September 3, 2018

Carole L. Jurkiewicz, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts
Response to Big Questions Surrounding Gender Equity

The Costs to Women in Academia
A large body of research concludes that women pay a high price for choosing academic careers, and that this disparity has changed little over time.  Motivated by a desire to add to knowledge and the passion to explore our intellectual interests, we share the same monetary costs as men, but research has emphasized that not only will we be vastly outnumbered in our profession, but more often than not we’ll be ostracized, dismissed, have our ideas discounted, be expected to take over group maintenance activities, receive less travel and research funding, and if we have a partner 98% of the time we’ll end that relationship by year two if that person doesn’t already hold a Ph.D.  If we have children before applying, we are likely to be rejected upon the assumption that we’re not seriously committed to the rigors of a doctoral program or academic life.
Nearing graduation, we’re less likely to receive job offers and may be invited to interview only because a faculty group finds us physically attractive, where they’ll stand in the back and comment on our features or their strategy to know us intimately before we head back home. If we are offered a job, 99% of us will receive a much lower salary/benefit package than if we were male.
As a new faculty member,there is a high likelihood that we will face demeaning insults related to gender, such as rape and groping and propositioned by other faculty and students, pressured overtly and covertly to trade sexual favors for promotion and tenure and/or threatened if we don’t oblige.  We’ll be subject to harsher assessments of our activity reports, our course evaluations will be much lower than our male counterparts as students believe we should be much more generous with our grading and more understanding of the excuses they have for not meeting class goals, as well as on how closely our appearance matches the desirable features in social media.  About 98% of our male counterparts will have fewer service responsibilities, and be invited to lunches, outings, and social activities much more than we, while we’re subject to more requests for “favors” from faculty, administration, and students. We’re less likely to have a spouse or stay-at-home partner to see to daily duties while we pursue our careers, and the men who generally will hold the senior and administrative positions in our department/college/university will view as they do their wives: reportedly subservient, obedient, and viewing our careers as pastime amusements.  
Men are more often encouraged to vie for early tenure, more likely to be given visible assignments within the university, given choice GRAs, more travel and research funds, desirable office locations and teaching times, and greater acceptance of our office hours and outside time demands.  We’re less likely to hold Chairs, Endowed Professorships, or Dean positions. We’ll be promoted at a slower rate throughout our careers and are likely to never reach pay parity with our male counterparts. Our articles as sole or female first author are less likely to be published. Few of us will be appointed journal editors or members of an editorial board, conference chairs, or book editors.;there has been only one female editor of PAR over its history and she resigned shortly into her tenure as Editor-in-Chief due to bullying and discrimination.  Fellow female editors know this all toowell. We are also more likely to leave academia and seek employment elsewhere due to the differential treatment and harassment, and are more likely to be featured on the lower tier and in the center of department photos as token evidence of diversity.
Research on these points and others have been consistent over time and geographic boundaries.  As a doctoral student and junior faculty member, I’ve witnessed firsthand the machinations behind inviting in attractive female candidates who had no chance of being hired; have suffered all the sexual assaults mentioned above many times over and told by chairs that I shouldn’t do research with male faculty or wear skirts or dresses as it invites such behavior.  Lower evaluations and student/faculty comments that I should grade easier and overlook plagiarism and aggressive acts because I’m a woman, delayed promotions, lower salaries and less discretionary funding, bias because I’m a single parent by choice, being left out of social events because of gender, subject to demeaning remarks based upon genderI have been subject to it all.  Not having anyone as a role model or in whom I could confide, I tolerated a lot, fought back selectively and paid the costs, and have strengthened my determination to use my experiences to enable other talented and ethical women and to try to make their paths less strident and facilitate their successes when I can.  
Culture is very difficult to change in any organization, and especially so in an academy setting.  It’s exhilarating to see changes over time firsthand, which one hopes is a trend despite recent research that disagrees.  What can we do to contribute to equalization in academia, or at least not perpetuate the barriers?
For all genders and gender-identifications:
If the other bodes no ill will, be kind, share best practices you’ve experienced on dealing with the harassment, limitations, and discrimination.  Mentor other women, ensure equal social opportunities including sports.
Don't use the phrase, “excuse my language ladies.” Don't do or say anything to single out females or any gender-identifiers differently from males.
Don't comment on clothing or hairstyle unless you routinely do so of everyone.
Appoint, advocate for, or facilitate females as journal editors and on editorial boards.
Stand up for untenured female faculty when you see them harassed.  Not privately after the fact but in public at the moment it occurs.  Don’t be complicit in setting a precedent for behavior that is inexcusable in any setting.
Familiarize yourself on the gender bias inherent in student evaluations and either advocate for forms that don’t disadvantage females, or follow the research and adjust female evaluations to increase by the margin of bias substantiated by the literature.
Speak up on behalf of women if some are being ignored in committees/groups, as we know usually happens; advocate for them in speaking their voice.
If a woman is ostracized for speaking out about bias or discrimination, don't avoid them, refuse to participate in groupthink.  Talk to them, invite them to activities, don’t tolerate their disparagement, and ensure they remain part of the mainstream. Don't say they asked for it.  It is best to assume that women are never implying an invitation to intimacies; their looking over your shoulder at the computer, inviting you to discuss research over a drink or lunch, or a pat on the back is nothing more than it would be if she were a man.
Provide equal formal and informal consideration for family leave, sick children, single parents, and health issues.
To other women:
Stop the mean girl routine, I’m sure we all know the statistics on how frequently this happens and why.  Instead, empower other female doctoral students and faculty. It’s not a zero-sum game and we can all win by teaming up, not by building barriers to protect our fiefdom as lone female among males.  Being a mean girl doesn’t identify us as remarkable, but rather shines the spotlight on our petty weaknesses and makes us a target for ridicule and derision.
Don't refer to female faculty by their first names and men by their titles, ensure equal respect.  Don’t assume camaraderie based upon gender, but rather earn it through demonstrating the ideals by which you want to be judged. I think of classic Ms. Magazine articles like, “I Want a Wife,” and “If Men Could Menstruate.” Amplify these voices by refusing to perpetuate stereotypes.  Be a role model, speak out and pave the way for other females to address inequities.
These are just a few suggestions, and useful for all regardless of gender, but if we were to achieve even these minor inroads, we would be light-years ahead of where we’ve mired for decades.
6/13/14
National Sexual Violence Resource Center 2015.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24994; Accessed 19 August 2018
Sexual Harassment In the Academy: A Crowdsource Survey. By Dr. Karen Kelsky, of The Professor Is In. Accessed 21 August 2018, www.theprofessorisin.com.



Monday, August 6, 2018

Striving for Success by Overcoming the Gender Gap

Response to: Big Questions Surrounding Gender Equity

Response to: Big Questions Surrounding Gender Equity

Gina Scutelnicu, Assistant Professor

Hillary J. Knepper, Chair and Associate Professor

Rebecca Tekula, Assistant Professor

Pace University, Department of Public Administration


Striving for Success by Overcoming the Gender Gap
Today, women in the public administration discipline strive for representation in the academy alongside men, but equitable gender representation remains elusive.  Women in the social sciences earn more Ph.D. degrees than men (51.4% in 2014), but fill only 41% of positions in academia (National Science Foundation, 2015). In public administration 50.7% of women were awarded Ph.D. degrees in 2014 (NSF, 2015) but only 38% of women hold academic positions (Feeney, 2015). In moving from Assistant to Full Professor, women lag behind despite their increasing presence at the rank of Assistant Professor (Hancock et al., 2013; Sabharwal, 2013). For the social sciences, NSF (2015) reports that Assistant Professors are 49.5 % women, while at the Full Professor level they represent only 26.6% of the faculty. 

While women are more likely now than in the past to obtain their Ph.D. degrees in public administration and related fields, as well as securing academic positions, they somehow do not advance as quickly as their male counterparts. In spite of the fact that some extant studies address the topic of women’s representation in public administration (Hancock, Baum, & Breuning, 2013; Feeney, 2015; D’Agostino, 2016; Scutelnicu & Knepper, 2018), as indicated by D’Agostino and Elias in their blog introduction:Big Questions Surrounding Gender Equity in Academia and the Field of Public Administration”, little has been written about explaining whywomen are not advancing in their academic careers as quickly as men.  

Some progress has been made to explore the context of women’s advancement. Existing evidence suggests that underrepresentation of women authors may be explained by a working institutional climate that is not welcoming to women (Hancock et al., 2013), an inadequate work-life balance (Mason & Goulden, 2004), and the fact that women place a higher priority than do men on student advising and nurturing (Park, 1996). Why is the presence of women in academia decreasing as they move up the academic career path from Assistant to Full Professor?We will share, through this blog, our views about three explanatory key indicators that are critical for women’s success in the academy: research productivity,institutional climateand work-life balance.Our foundation for these key indicators lies in our recent research in Public Integrity, "A Tale of Two Journals: Women’s Representation in Public Administration Scholarship." These key indicators are emerging from our research currently underway as well as from personal communications with peers in the field of public administration and our own experiences. Here, we offer some helpful tips on how women can be more successful in their academic advancement.

·      Research productivity is one of the most important factors that can contribute to the success of womens academic advancement in public administration.  As evidenced in the literature (Scutelnicu & Knepper, 2018) women publish less than men, so finding ways to encourage and support more publishing is critical.Research productivityrefers mainly to the number of peer-reviewed publications (such as peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and books) one faculty produces and the impact of such published work. Other types of publications such as non-peer reviewed articles, book reviews, research reports and the like rarely count toward research productivity. In a recent 2018 PA Times article we presented some preliminary findings of a self-reported survey sent out to faculty affiliated with NASPAA accredited programs. We found that, overall, women publish on average at 57% of mens publishing rates. When we examined differences between women and men by types of publications, we found that men publish almost twice as many peer-reviewed articles and books than women and slightly more book chapters. Women seem to publish slightly more non-peer reviewed articles and book reviews than men. Moreover, research reports are favored more by men than by women. Notably, women seem to be most productive at the Associate Professor level and least productive at the Assistant Professorlevel especially in terms of peer-review articles.
Why does this matter? If, typically, faculty performance and success is perceived as synonymous with productivity and evaluated through the assessment of the three academic pillars of teaching, research and service, existing research indicates that, among the three, research productivity is the one that matters the most mainly because it has the potential to lead to an increase in institutional prestige (Coggburn & Neely, 2015; Youn & Price, 2009). In the past five to ten years we have witnessed a higher education trend that places an increasing importance on research productivity for the process of tenure and promotion (Youn & Price, 2009) not only for research-intensive higher education institutions but also for those focused primarily on teaching. The public administration discipline is not exempt from this trend. Therefore, the types of publications that matter the most in the process of faculty tenure and promotion are the peer-reviewed work, precisely where women are less productive than men, at least in the early stages of their careers. 
·      Institutional climate is a comprehensive term that we equate with institutional support, work environment and expectations. Common sense incentives such as reduced teaching load, research stipends, financial support for conference travel and support for grants are all part of creating a research supportive climate. Further, having the necessary staff support to identify and apply for federal, state, local grants and foundation money is equally important. We have witnessed instances where women are expected to identify a grant, write the proposal, and compete on par with peers at institutions with knowledgeable staff support throughout the process. Further, having sponsored research staff with expertise in the social sciences, will increase the capacity of institutions to support public administration researchers. 

·      Work-life balanceis another key indicator of women’s success and advancement in the academy.Our preliminary research suggests that women who have supportive partners tend to become successful academics and those who have young children tend to be less successful, especially during tenure-track years. We consider tenure clock stoppage as an indicator of academic success that all academic women should take advantage of.  In a 2016 New York Times article Wolfers mentions that male faculty actually take advantage of this policy and it works in their favor more often than it works for female faculty. While it seems common sense for every university to offer such a benefit to its employees, in reality not all institutions provide such support. Our workplace is an example that instituted such support in the last 5 to 10 years. Working in a male dominated environment may prove to be hostile for women, especially to those who have recently welcomed children or who are caring for aging or disabled relatives.  
So, how can women narrow the research productivity gap? We’ve identified some useful tips:
·      Attend more conference presentations and seek out feedback to best prepare our manuscripts for the peer-review process. 
·      Co-present and co-author with graduate students by serving on dissertation committees and masterstheses. This is an especially important research mentoring part for the next generation.
·      Stay focused on "what matters"in terms of being successful in academia (e.g. research productivity) by dedicating more time to conducting and publishing peer-reviewed research. 
·      Embrace constructive criticism and build a thick skin for non-constructive criticism. We believe women tend to struggle more than men with accepting constructive criticism, an important part of the peer-review process. Women often wont send manuscripts for review unless they consider them fully polished.
·      Women must be sure to cite other womens work. This builds our citation counts and visibility.  
·      Find alternative and creative ways to show the impact of ones scholarship work. Before Google Scholar, Academia.edu, Research Gate and the like, measuring the impact of academic work was limited to certain journals that were listed in the Science Citation Index (SCI) database.However, today, women can identify other womens work, cite it in their research and use it in the classes they teach by using Google Scholar, Mendeley and other academic social networks such as Academia.edu, Research Gate etc. All these digital tools have served to equalize access to faculty research even in the working stages. Through these networks we believe the impact of womens academic work has become more recognized, and can continue to become even more so than it has ever been.
·      Learn to say "no". Historically, being in a tenure-track position gives you little leverage to refuse new tasks and projects that you are asked to do and women seem to have a harder time at negotiating these workloads. It is perfectly acceptable to politely say no. Institutions must create safe ways to enable academics to decline non-research based additional work activities - perhaps accepting new tasks by letting go of others.
·     Find mentors, build formal mentoring programs, and become better mentors. Mentoringshould be institutionalized with both formal and informal mentoring taking place from day one. Notably, those universities that provide formal mentoring programs that align with NSF’s Advance grant have seen women successfully mentored, resulting in funded research. We anticipate that women junior faculty who land in institutions with a history of strong mentoringthrough  research collaboration with senior faculty members are well positioned to not only succeed in their own research but are then better positioned to mentor junior faculty down the road. 
We love and embrace the new wave of research in the area of gender representation in public administration and we think it is timely. While public administration academe has seen greater equity in terms of gender representation lately, it remains critically lacking in terms of other types of diversity such as race, ethnicity etc. Much work remains to be done. 

Continuing the Gender Equity in Academia Conversation: Recommendations and Next Steps Maria J. D’Agostino @MJDPhD mdagostino@j...