TY - CONF
T1 - Geotechnical Women Faculty from 1989-2017
T2 - 3rd International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo 2018: Recent Developments in Geotechnical Engineering Practice, IFCEE 2018
AU - Gallagher, Patricia M.
AU - Alestalo, Sharon W.
AU - Bhatia, Shobha K.
AU - Athanasopoulos-Zekkos, Adda
AU - Soundarajan, Sucheta
N1 - Funding Information:
The underrepresentation of women in the faculty of geotechnical engineering has been a long-standing concern for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and women engineers and their allies. There have been three distinct efforts to bring geotechnical engineering women faculty together to identify and address the barriers to participation at numbers equal to men. In 1989 and 2003, NSF sponsored structured meetings of women geotechnical engineers. Organizers for each of these workshops generated scholarship that allows us to look back at these efforts. A third approach was tried in 2012 using pass-through funds from an NSF ADVANCE grant at the University of Michigan. In this effort there was an attempt to develop a more complete list of women faculty in geotechnical engineering internationally and to invite these faculty to join GeoWorld, an online community, as a way to begin addressing network challenges women face in this field. These past efforts generated helpful information to develop the ongoing Connecting Geotechnical Engineering Women Faculty – Networked and Thriving project. We will briefly look at the goals and results.
NSF also recently funded for a related field, earthquake engineering, a project titled Collaborative Research: Career Enhancement of Academic Women in Earthquake Engineering Research (ENHANCE), led by Dr. Aspasia Zerva, Drexel University, and six other senior women faculty across the country (Drs. Catherine French and Carol Shield, University of Minnesota; Dr. Rachel Davidson, University of Delaware; Dr. Anne Kiremidjian, Stanford University; Dr. Ellen Rathje, University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Sara Wadia-Fascetti, Northeastern University). The purpose of this project was to enrich the careers of women faculty in earthquake engineering by developing a community that supports mentoring, empowerment, advocacy and networking (nationally and internationally). The project involved one-on-one as well as group mentoring of 16 junior faculty, who were given the title “NSF ENHANCE Fellows”, by successful senior faculty with the intent of enhancing the careers of the Fellows. The project also established an international community platform through the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. The participants in this project were primarily structural engineers, although there were also a few geotechnical engineers (including Dr. Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos). The most successful activities involved face-to-face meetings (two workshops took place during the project), and structured mentoring on a regular basis. Proposal preparation and submission was one of the major concerns of the Fellows, as well as dossier preparation for tenure and promotion. The major challenges were the geographical distribution of the Fellows and the Mentors, the reluctance of some Fellows to take “full advantage” of their Mentors, the difficulty in establishing common times for group discussions and webinars, and the busy work and life schedule of all participants. The Fellows reported at the end of the project that they benefitted from their participation in ENHANCE in more ways that they anticipated.
To address the identified needs, in 2016 NSF funded Connecting Women Faculty in Geotechnical Engineering: Thriving in a Networked World.” This project was funded from the CMMI division of the National Science Foundation. The Program Director of CMMI, Dr. Richard J. Fragaszy believes “this project presents a unique opportunity for increasing the recruitment, retention, and success of geotechnical women faculty. The project provides an engaging research plan to achieve this goal by providing improved networking and collaboration of geotechnical women and male faculty. The inclusion of the social network analyst and assessment expert with three geotechnical faculty members with previous experience in ADVANCE-related projects makes for an innovative and unique project team. It builds upon the successes and issues from previous NSF-funded workshops in 1989 and 2012 that focused on geotechnical women faculty. The success of this award will lead to a more diverse and effective network of geotechnical faculty. The two-day program followed by a one-day program offer a nice opportunity to create a forum for networking and dissemination. Seed grants to create new networks for research and teaching amongst women and men geotechnical faculty members will lead to a thriving geotechnical community.” Led by the authors, the goal of the project is to create an enduring network of geotechnical engineering faculty colleagues and collaborators, both women and men. We believe this investment by NSF will foster career success and resilience not only for geotechnical women faculty, but for the entire geotechnical engineering community. Ultimately, the grant aims to increase the number of women attracted to and retained in the geotechnical discipline.
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2018
N2 - This case study addresses the advancements of women geotechnical engineering faculty in the U.S. over the past 30 years. In 1989, there were just eight women geotechnical faculty in the U.S. Today, we estimate that there are more than 80. Since 1989, there have been various efforts to increase the number and visibility of women geotechnical faculty, including NSF-funded workshops in 1989, 2003, and 2017; listservs and technical committees designed to connect women faculty and/or professionals; and networking efforts to develop and maintain connections between men and women geotechnical faculty for the purpose of enhancing the potential for collaboration between academia and industry. We discuss the various efforts, their successes and failures, and the lessons learned from these efforts.
AB - This case study addresses the advancements of women geotechnical engineering faculty in the U.S. over the past 30 years. In 1989, there were just eight women geotechnical faculty in the U.S. Today, we estimate that there are more than 80. Since 1989, there have been various efforts to increase the number and visibility of women geotechnical faculty, including NSF-funded workshops in 1989, 2003, and 2017; listservs and technical committees designed to connect women faculty and/or professionals; and networking efforts to develop and maintain connections between men and women geotechnical faculty for the purpose of enhancing the potential for collaboration between academia and industry. We discuss the various efforts, their successes and failures, and the lessons learned from these efforts.
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U2 - 10.1061/9780784481622.034
DO - 10.1061/9780784481622.034
M3 - Paper
AN - SCOPUS:85048818793
SP - 434
EP - 447
Y2 - 5 March 2018 through 10 March 2018