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2011 Meeting Minutes

June 22, 2011

3 - 4:30 PM, Smith Conf. Room

Attended by: Stace Beaulieu, Tina Betti, Janet Fields, David Griffith (Skype), Kim Grodzki, Dan Lizarralde,  Dan McCorkle, Larry Pratt, Heidi Sosik, Larissa Williams, and Jian Lin from the Diversity Committee

1. Status of action items from previous meeting
Four of the five action items from the previous meeting have been addressed. Nanci Pacheco could not attend this meeting today, so we will invite her to the next meeting. The remaining action item is to schedule a meeting with recruitment committee and Dept. chairs for this fall. This action item will be tasked to the next GEPAC co-chair from the scientific staff. There was some discussion of this action item re: translating the experience gained by the previous year's to the next year's recruitment committees.

2. Discuss upcoming speaker visit - Kathleen Flint Ehm, Tues., July 19, 2011
Ehm is Manager of the National Postdoctoral Association's ADVANCE Project:

Prior to the meeting, Larry circulated a recent PowerPoint presentation that Ehm gave re: "the leaky pipeline." There was some discussion about having Ehm tailor the WHOI presentation to a broader geoscience community. There was strong interest in encouraging Dept. Chairs and Directorate to attend the presentation. One suggestion was to have Director of Research or Dean of Academic Programs introduce Ehm at the noon-time presentation. The noon-time talk should be advertised on WHOI's yellow sheet and announced to the broader Woods Hole scientific community.

Draft agenda:
- morning: breakfast with WHOI postdocs and students
- ??later morning??afternoon: meeting with WHOI Assistant Scientists
- noon: seminar at Redfield Auditorium
- box lunch picnic to follow the seminar at Redfield
- dinner with GEPAC Committee

3. Report on symposium on "Women of MIT" attended by Heidi Sosik in March 2011
A report was released as an ~10-yr follow-up to the 1999 report on the status of women faculty at MIT chaired by Nancy Hopkins and Mary Potter. Links to the report and to a video of Hopkins's talk at this symposium are posted on the GEPAC website. The report highlights successes over the past decade, points out remaining challenges, and also shows new challenges that have arisen due to proactive policies towards hiring more women.

4. Discuss GEPAC employment data stats and potential survey of perceptions of gender equity at WHOI
- Brief report on meeting of GEPAC members (Stace Beaulieu, Tina Betti, and Heidi Sosik) with Nanci Pacheco, Chris Hammond, and Anita Norton in April 2011
Stace briefly reported on the three types of graphs that we are going to be able to show on an annual basis to the WHOI community: how many fe/males in positions at annual time points, number of years that fe/males have been in position, and number of years that fe/males were in the lower rank position prior to promotion. There was discussion about how coarse the positions would be presented, whether we would present information per department, whether we could use the data to see if there are gender-related issues with retention. There was further discussion about the audience for these data, how will the data be analyzed and reported, what can we achieve in terms of identifying and addressing problems. A charge of the GEPAC is to advise the Directorate, and it was suggested that GEPAC prepare a modest annual report or status update with the release of the annual stats and compare these stats with national or other comparable averages.

- Discuss draft survey of perceptions of gender equity at WHOI prepared by Stace Beaulieu and Tina Betti
Prior to the meeting, Stace circulated a draft subset of questions pulled from the extensive 1988 survey of the equity climate at WHOI. Stace introduced the motivation for conducting a "perceptions survey" in conjunction with the release of gender-related employment stats. The goal will be to collect data on perceptions of gender equity which can be compared with tangible data from the employment stats to see if there are discrepancies between subjective and objective viewpoints. Members agreed to move forward with the proposed survey. Due to its low cost and ease of using online survey, it was suggested to conduct the survey when the employment stats data are released (or just prior to), to obtain a "time zero" which could them be compared with a time point a couple of years later (i.e., after a couple of cycles of annual employment stats being available to the community).

Discussion about the survey included:

  • How will we ensure participation in the survey is representative of employee demographics?
  • One way to attract participation is to offer a raffle prize. There was some discussion of how to keep entry into a raffle prize entirely separate from a returned survey form so that anonymity is protected. Examples: at the end of survey, provide email address with subject line to enter raffle; provide i.d. # which is recorded on separate database to know who entered into the online survey.
  • Also, Janet mentioned a recent online survey that she was involved with at MIT that had 90% return.
  • Announcement of the survey in Susan Avery's weekly WHOI news may help increase participation.
  • Discussion of the Discrimination and Harassment section included: need to specify recent time frame in which survey respondent has observed discrimination (note: following the meeting, an additional comment is that we should use "experienced" vs. "observed" discrimination), some discussion of confidentiality if harassment is indicated on the survey response due to legal implications, discussion about whether/how to include discrimination on ships. If we include discrimination on ships, we have to consider whether this will be specific to WHOI ships and/or WHOI employees on WHOI or other ships.

 5. Interaction with other WHOI Committees:

  • Diversity Committee
    Jian discussed importance of coordination among WHOI Committees and also discussed activities of the Woods Hole Diversity Committee which sponsors the PEP summer student program and annual "Diversity Days" events. WHOI's Diversity Committee is currently working towards support for a "BRIDGE" lecture program that will allow WHOI personnel to supplement visits to other institutions with talks to engage interests of underrepresented groups in ocean sciences.
  • Women's Committee
    Unfortunately, we did not have time during the meeting to discuss recent or upcoming Women's Committee activities. Kim reported over email that the recent Women's Committee Annual Dinner with guest speaker Cindy Van Dover was a huge success.

6. New action items arising from this meeting

  • Larry will schedule rooms, arrange for breakfast meeting and box lunches, and send out agenda for Ehm's visit. Individual GEPAC members will be tasked with contacting Dept. Chairs and Dept. Education Coords. to advertise the noon-time talk.
  • Next GEPAC meeting will include presentation and discussion of employment stat graphs by Nanci Pacheco.
  • Stace will work with Tina to revise the draft survey of perceptions of gender equity at WHOI for further discussion at next GEPAC meeting.
  • Next GEPAC meeting to be held in December/January time frame.

January 26, 2011

Members and visitors present: Janet Fields, Stephanie Murphy (Diversity Comm.), Dan McCorkle, Dan Lizarralde, Tina Betti, Larry Pratt, Stace Beaulieu, Larissa Williams, Adam Shepherd, Kim Grodzki (Women’s Comm.), Dave Ralston, Heidi Sosik, David Griffith (via Skype)

1. Welcome new members

2. Status of action items from previous meeting
Stace reviewed the action items from the previous meeting and described how they had been attended to. These included the printing of new GEPAC brochures and recruitment of new members. (Nearly half the membership is now new.) The language of the committee charter still needs to be slightly altered as recommended at our previous meeting. The new members were welcomed and advised that the nominal term of service is now approximately three years.

3. Memo to Directorate re: recruitment process 2010, and follow-up for 2011
Stace and Larry described the Sept. 2010 meeting with recruitment committee and department chairs.  The purpose of this meeting was to allow recruitment personnel to share information about the implementation in some departments of recommendations stemming from Dr. JoAnn Moody’s 2009 visit. In November 2010, a summary of recommendations following this meeting was sent to Susan Avery and Larry Madin.  As of this meeting, GEPAC had received no feedback.  Larry will follow up to make sure the letter was received.

4. Discuss speakers for 2011
The group discussed possible visitors and a number of good suggestions were made. Larry will follow up on: Kathleen Flint (National Postdoc Association); Ben Barres (Stanford); Mary Ann Mason (Berkeley); UNESCO ambassadors for gender equity; David provided several other suggestions post-meeting: Peggy McIntosh (Wellesley College), Frances Kendall, Lori Breslow (Director of the Teaching and Learning Lab, MIT) & Jane Dunphy (Professor and Director of the English Language Studies Program, MIT)

5. WHOI employment stats

6. Discuss conducting a survey of perceptions of gender equity and diversity at WHOI
Stace, Heidi and Tina described the statistics on institution personnel that we are planning to have routinely reported.  The group talked about what sort of questions we might want to ask of this data base. Dan M. suggested that, in addition to hard numbers such as years between promotion, that the data should include less tangible factors such as happiness.  This led into Stace’s suggestion that GEPAC undertake a survey that would follow on from the 1988 professional, institution wide, climate survey consisting of interviews and written questionnaires. She has a 189-page document that described the findings and conclusions formulated by the company that was hired, but not the written questions in original form.  Following a general discussion of the broadness and timeliness of a repeat survey, the committee voiced its support. Dan L. suggested that interviews are an important component. With Tina’s help, Stace will follow up at the next meeting with a more specific idea of what topics should be covered, which questions should be asked, etc.

7. Upcoming events and activities for Women's Committee and Diversity Committee
Stephanie reported on the Bridge Lecture Series proposed by the Diversity Committee. The next Women’s Committee event is an Audio Seminar on Thursday, February 24, at 1 pm (ET): Women's Leadership: Gaining Confidence & Credibility with Emotional Intelligence.

Action Items:

  1. Larry and Stace will follow up with administration and Dept. Chairs re: Nov. 2010 letter to Avery and Madin.
  2. Larissa and Janet will send additional info on various possible speakers. Larry will follow up on speaker suggestions above.
  3. An August or September 2011 meeting with recruitment personnel will be scheduled, as last year.
  4. Stace and Tina will come up with a more specific proposal for a survey.
  5. We will invite Nancy Pacheco from MIS to our next meeting to describe employment statistics that can be generated from the database.