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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN En Línea: 1940-431X

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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2013004654
pages 329-347

GENDER AND PROMOTION: HOW DO SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) FACULTY MEMBERS SURVIVE A FOGGY CLIMATE?

Dina Banerjee
Indian Institute of Management Udaipur
Alice L. Pawley
School of Engineering Education; Affiliate faculty, Women's Studies Program, Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

SINOPSIS

In this paper, we describe a case study of four faculty members in an STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) college of a research-oriented Midwestern university. On the basis of certain similarities we situate the faculty members on a common platform to compare and contrast their experiences of the promotion and tenure (P&T) application process. Through this, we examine the impact of gender on worklife experiences of STEM faculty members. We ask: (1) How do STEM faculty members who are successfully tenured or promoted describe the P&T application process? (2) How do institutionally generated P&T policy texts shape these STEM faculty members' approaches to develop successful P&T applications? and (3) How are P&T application experiences gendered for these STEM faculty members? We use interviews with STEM faculty members gathered through a National Science Foundation-funded research project (NSF-HRD 0811194) and qualitatively analyze them using institutional ethnographic methods. Findings suggest that STEM faculty members in this study do not get enough information in terms of their P&T application requirements, and therefore they seek information from many sources. We propose an alternative metaphor of a "foggy climate" to represent these experiences: within their academic careers, these four faculty members encountered a foggy climate of inadequate information regarding P&T policies, and developed "fog lights" of formal and informal resources to light their way. We suggest that the ability to create networks of fog lights may be gendered based on associated work−family conflicts.


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