For Immediate Release: Contact: Carol Eberly
August 20, 2008 202-349-5882 or
STEM Faculty in US Schools Need to Focus on Excellence
IWF Releases New Report that looks Deeper into the Debate over Title IX and whether it should or should not be used to balance gender discrepancies in STEM fields.
Washington, DC – A new report released by The Independent Women’s Forum, “Excellence, Not Gender Parity, should be Priority for STEM Faculty,” addresses the fact that women have made tremendous progress in academia, but remain a minority of faculty, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) departments.
Gender activists and opportunistic politicians are increasingly trying to interfere in academia in the name of rooting out sexism. At best their efforts are a waste of energy and taxpayer dollars, but at worst they will damage our education system. The goal of our universities shouldn’t be to have an equal number of male and female professors – it should be to provide students with the best education by having the best teachers possible.
“It is unlikely that institutional discrimination is the primary cause of the discrepancy between the number of men and women in STEM faculties. Research suggests that women have a greater challenge in balancing work pressures, particularly related to the tenure process. Raising children and individual interests play central roles in generating this outcome,” said Carrie Lukas, IWF Vice President of Policy & Economics.
Some of the measures advocated by those who want more “balance” in STEM faculties could have adverse, unintended consequences, including undermining the position of women within faculties and creating reverse sexism, as hiring policies blatantly favor women over their male peers. In addition, some have suggested that the government should use Title IX as a mechanism to increase female representation in STEM faculties, yet this suggestion ignores the significant problems with Title IX’s application to athletics.
Schools should work to create a supportive environment that encourages both women and men to fulfill their potential and, to the extent possible, provide flexibility so that those who also have family or other responsibilities can continue to contribute to the important work of the institution. Their goal should be to generate the best, most productive academic departments, not to achieve a politically correct gender balance.”
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Allison Kasic, please call Carol Eberly at 202-349-5882 or email Carol at [email protected].
The Independent Women’s Forum is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution. Founded in 1992, IWF focuses on issues of concern to women, men, and families. Our mission is to rebuild civil society by advancing economic liberty, personal responibility, and political freedom. IWF builds support for a greater respect for limited governmnet, equality under the law, property rights, free markets, strong families, and a powerful and effective national defense and foreign policy.