What makes a good 'climate' for women in science?

Sarah L. Pallas spallas at bcm.tmc.edu
Fri Jun 7 16:52:10 EST 1996

I'm going to start a new topic here and hopefully jazz up this group. 
I've had the feeling in some places I've worked that the environment was
distinctly unfriendly toward women students/faculty, but often it's hard
to put a finger on exactly what could be done to improve the situation. 
In other words, if you had a sympathetic chair who wanted to improve
things, what would you ask her/him to do?  Let's make a wish list. 
Here's my suggestions, please add yours:

1.  Strong sexual harassment policy with mandatory training.
2.  Allowing for different conversational styles, so it's not just the
deep, loud voices that get heard in discussions.  How could this be
implemented without surgical intervention?
3.  Family friendly policies.  This should work in favor of male parents
as well as female ones.  For example,
     a.  Allowing kids to come to work in emergency daycare situations.
     b.  Lobbying the administration for on-site daycare, including care
for sick children.
     c.  Having social events for the department in which families are
4.  Hiring more women faculty!
5.  Strict prohibition against using naked ladies as lecture illustration
points, gag gifts, etc.
6.  No faculty meetings or social events at strip joints (Yes, they do
this in Texas.).
7.  If networking occurs between male faculty in settings where women are
not allowed or encouraged (e.g. locker rooms), then provide other
settings where women have access to networking opportunities, like
faculty lunches, or social events.

Other ideas?

Sarah Pallas

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