Saturday, February 18, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
Lisa Frehill, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA
Background:Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at institutions that receive federal funding. The America COMPETES Act required NASA, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct Title IX Compliance visits, which have also sought to discover some promising practices in increasing women’s access to research careers in science and engineering (S&E). Methods: Research questions: 1) To what extent do Title IX compliance site visits impact gender equity in S&E? 2) What promising practices were identified via Title IX compliance site visits? Research methods: 1) Quantitative analysis of IPEDS data on degrees and faculty by sex in S&E; 2) Text analysis of the NASA, DOE, and NSF site visit reports (n = 50 visits); and 3) Policy and process review of federal Title IX Compliance Site visit reports. Results: Women’s attainment of S&E degrees and representation among faculty varies across fields, with high participation in the social and life sciences and lower participation in engineering, computing, and physical sciences. Promising practices to enhance women’s participation in S&E include:1) Departmental funding and strong faculty support of student organizations;2) Adequate on-campus child care and lactation facilities;3) Family health care coverage and paid maternity leave for graduate students;4) ADVANCE program to increase female faculty in S&E (and university funding of program after NSF grant expires); and5) Safe-ride program, escort services, security cameras, safety emails, safety handbook, police presence, and other safety measures on and around campus. Conclusions: Compliance with laws relies largely upon voluntary action. Title IX Coordinators at colleges and universities have complex responsibilities, where they must implement a labyrinth of rules that often differ for faculty and students. The dynamics and politics of graduate student work-life result in underreporting of Title IX violations by graduate students (Clancy et al. 2004). Title IX Compliance Site Visits have limited reach and scope because NASA, DOE, and NSF only visit institutions that receive funding (a small subset of the 4,726 U.S. postsecondary institutions). Despite this limitation, the institutions that receive such funds are considered top in the U.S. system, within which status and prestige are key principles of stratification. Hence, they serve as institutional role models for institutions that are unlikely to experience a Title IX Compliance Site Visit.