Saturday, May 06, 2006

Taking the Initiative

One of my favorite bloggers Abel PharmBoy sent me a link to Duke University's Women's Initiative Project in response to some of my posts regarding women's issues in science. This was a study commisioned by the outgoing President of Duke, Nannerl O. Keohane. As stated by now President Richard H. Brodhead:
The comprehensiveness of the Women's Initiative report remains its most striking feature. Rather than studying a single segment of the university community, a team of task forces considered the full set of women's experiences within the university: the lives of women faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduates, and alumnae as well. Through this breadth of focus, the report was able to highlight issues that link the experience of women across categories, such as the critical role of mentorship. At the same time, the study noted that the most salient issues for women in the university are often specific to their position, so that a women's agenda needs to have many different parts
I encourage readers to go look at this study and what Duke has done to address the issues of women in academia. It's an interesting and encouraging read. It brought up one of the issues I spoke about in an earlier blog on mentoring. Finding a mentor as a female scientist is difficult in general. Finding a senior female mentor even more so. I wish women in their respective academic institutions would form their own mentoring groups such that their names, contact information and/or meeting times could be given to recently recruited women faculty upon their arrival at their new Institutions.

I would love to hear from other academic women about programs that exist at their respective institutions, especially if they relate to the mentoring of women faculty at all levels.

1 comment:

Abel PharmBoy said...

SciMom, thanks for the plug but check out this recent post by Bill Hooker at Open Reading Frame and his links to Zuska and Dr. Shellie on very serious issues facing women in science. With all of this insightful and provocative writing, I'm probably going to start a separate section on my blogroll for Women in Science and Medicine.