COSAM News Articles 2020 June Stephanie Shepherd and Leading Researchers Share Opinion to Find Real Gender Equity Solutions

Stephanie Shepherd and Leading Researchers Share Opinion to Find Real Gender Equity Solutions

Published: 06/30/2020

By: Maria Gebhardt

Stephanie Shepherd, an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences, is part of a team of 17 researchers that wrote, “Opinion: In the wake of COVID-19, academia needs new solutions to ensure gender equality” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America.

“This piece evolved from casual conversations online about how our universities were planning to address the effects of social distancing on our productivity as academics,” said Shepherd. “New articles were popping up daily, but very few proposed solutions beyond tenure-clock extensions and adjusting teaching evaluations. We hope our paper facilitates the conversation between faculty and administration about how to actively address equity in our current situation and moving forward.”

During this time of remote instruction, this piece discusses the difficult barriers women and minorities continually face on the track to becoming tenured faculty in colleges and universities such as given lower level introductory courses, higher teaching workloads, mentoring students, and reduced research opportunities.

The article points out that women must be 2.5 more productive in the grant process to achieve the same results as their male counterparts. It also shares how the National Science Foundation requires participants to complete gender-bias training before being part of a peer-review panel. This training helps to increase awareness of gender neutral techniques.

Across the nation, gender neutral solutions have been discussed in the wake of COVID-19, however, these ideas include temporarily suspending teaching evaluations and extending the tenure clock that do not provide any real change.

The group of researchers discuss the importance of developing a plan with “metrics and accountability” to end the equity gap.

This opinion piece was also showcased in Inside Higher Ed

To learn more about this topic, visit Continuing the Conversation on Gender Equity During the COVID-19 Pandemic with more information including:


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