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2014 Meeting Minutes

July 14, 2014

Attended: Stace Beaulieu, Janet Fields, Dan Lizarralde, Heidi Sosik, Britta Voss

1. Reviewed action items from previous minutes

2. Follow-up on release of 2013 GEPAC employment plots
We propose a GEPAC meeting with Larry Madin and Jeffrey Fernandez. The purpose of this meeting would be two-fold: to formalize the annual reporting of GEPAC employment statistics and to discuss a proposed perceptions survey / community discussion (item 4 below). We also would like to request that GEPAC has access to additional data for time in position and years to promotion for the same coarse categories. Our working definition for promotion would be when job title changes and salary increases. These additional data would be useful to examine after our proposed perceptions survey / community discussion (item 4 below). Are we collecting the appropriate metrics? Should we be looking at outliers that might sway a perception?

3. Ideas for guest speaker in fall 2014
There was some momentum towards hosting a speaker for dual career issues. This was a topic of a town hall at this year’s Ocean Sciences meeting by Dr. Kelly Ward from Washington State, author of award-winning book “Academic Motherhood: How Faculty Manage Work and Family.” Another candidate may be Dr. Mary Anne Holmes, Earth and Atmospheric sciences at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and now NSF program director for ADVANCE. Another candidate may be Dr. Londa Schiebinger from Stanford, author of "Dual-career Academic Couples: What Universities Need to Know."
Note: WHOI has dual career webpage:

Timeline: host speaker this fall; ask for talk plus smaller social meeting, e.g. for postdocs/students

4. Ideas for perceptions survey / community discussion
We decided to proceed with drafting a survey for employee perceptions of gender equity at WHOI, last discussed by GEPAC in 2012. We would like to follow the survey with a community discussion (e.g., an open meeting for WHOI employees) of the survey results. An outcome could be that GEPAC advises the directorate and/or HR to report back to the community on perceptions for which other data (not in GEPAC employment stats) may be needed for comparison; e.g., what if people perceive a salary discrepancy - then GEPAC could recommend a discussion led by HR re: compensation. Ultimately our goal is to improve transparency so that perceptions match data.

We will start with a subset of the questions from the 1988 survey to have a 25-yr comparison. We discussed difficulties in obtaining a representative sample of the WHOI community, and decided upon the combination of providing an anonymous survey and holding an open meeting. We could have a box at the end of the multiple choice questions with free text entry so that people could suggest discussion items for the open meeting. We could keep the survey open for a certain time after the meeting.

Stace/Dan/Tina will select a subset of questions from the 1988 perceptions survey and send that to GEPAC for review. Dan will look into how to set up an anonymous survey online.

Timeline: end of this year, perceptions survey; early 2015, community discussion in conjunction with release of GEPAC stats, perhaps with professional facilitator

5. Member rotation(s)
Britta will be graduating soon, so we need new student rep. Next year Heidi will retire from the committee, and Stace will step down from co-chair and serve as Biology rep. Janet will step down and request another APO rep.

6. Action items

  • Please vote via email your choice for speaker by Monday, August 4. We’d like to schedule a speaker in the fall, e.g., October.
  • Stace/Dan/Tina – select questions from the 1988 perceptions survey. Note: this follows onto an action item from 2012 GEPAC minutes for Stace and Tina to revise the draft survey of perceptions of gender equity at WHOI.
  • Dan - look into how to set up an anonymous survey online (e.g., check with staff committee for their previous survey).
  • Stace/Dan – request meeting with Madin & Fernandez after drafting perceptions survey
  • Stace/Dan - in end-of-year memo, send suggestions for next co-chair
  • Stace - contact Hanny Rivera as new student rep.
  • Janet – request new GEPAC member from APO
  • Release GEPAC stats in Feb. 2015 and do an ‘all-hands’ email in addition to "Headlines"