2017-2018 AY Overview

What We’re About: This is a grass-roots effort to raise awareness about the implicit biases that face the advancement of women in STEM. Young women – graduate students, post-docs and even assistant professors – are often unaware that the professional playing field is not even. Mid-career women are often bitter that it turned out to be so. One way to improve climate is for everyone to be aware of implicit biases that disadvantage the non-privileged group.

This effort was started as a series of presentations on bias from the social psychology field. The response was tremendous, and it has grown into an active international Facebook Group, an Art Exhibit, a less active blog used mostly for announcements, a forum used to bring speakers to Hopkins, and a series of Workshops/Journal Clubs in which we meet to discuss gender issues that could be affecting our scientific careers.

Plans for Fall/Spring 2017-2018.
Sabbatical! Dr. Fleming will be on sabbatical this fall, and workshops will be resumed in the spring. If you have any specific topic requests, please email them. To see what we did last fall, click here.

NSF-ADVANCE: Together with Jeff Gray (ChemBE), I submitted a proposal to obtain funds to support institutional change that will lead to greater success of women and under-represented minority faculty. Wish us luck!

Overview Seminar: Dr. Fleming is not presenting an overview seminar at Hopkins this fall (see sabbatical note above). She will schedule one for Fall 2018, hopefully in WSE.

Workshops: We will resume these workshops in the spring.

Art Exhibit: We are pleased that the Women of Hopkins Art exhibit is still active. Dominic Scalise will present a poster about this initiative entitled “Women of Hopkins Art Installation: Creating Visible Change” at the National Women Studies Association Conference in Baltimore, Nov 2017. We’ll post a copy once it is ready.

Who should come to our events?  Everyone is welcome, including faculty, academic staff, post-docs, research assistants and graduate students. All genders are welcome. Come if you are a woman or know a woman or have a daughter or a sister or a wife that could be affected by the unconscious barriers that affect women in STEM. Come if you are a man and want to advocate for gender equity in STEM. The goal will be to raise awareness so that bias and barriers can be overcome.

Why is this important?  Documented by a landmark National Academy of Sciences study in 2007, women are broadly under-represented in STEM faculty and other leadership positions at academic institutions and in professional societies. Unconscious bias is part of the problem facing women, however women can also contribute to the unintended prejudices against them by displaying certain behaviors that confront social expectations. With a view to increase awareness of these issues to move beyond barriers in STEM, these workshops will examine and discuss the social science literature on these issues.

Organization: The typical meeting will be focused around a literature article from the social psychology field. Topics of these articles will include confidence differences in women and men, implicit biases, gender-expected behaviors and stereotypes, and hiring & evaluation practices.

Outcomes: These workshops have two desired outcomes: (1) We hope to raise awareness on gender differences and how these affect our development as scientists; and (2) We hope to identify strategies that can be used to become more effective in the professional scientific environment.

We plan to meet quarterly during the academic year.

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This site is maintained by the faculty founder, Dr. Karen Fleming.