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September 05, 1997 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-05

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1- The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 5, 1997

FRIDAYFOCUS

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Provost Nancy Cantor is the first woman to
assume the post of the University's second in com-
mand. Women hold deanships of schools and
colleges and chair some of the Universty's most
prestigious departments.
As women fill the ranks of academia, they often
encounter new obstacles, and are creating new
visions for those who will follow.
T hrough affirmative action programs and Appointments like that one are a real boost feel was a pers
shifts in social attitudes, women have for the morale of women on campus." obstacle for,
had opportunities to excel in academia Cantor attributes her success to her ability said Vice Presic
like never before - simultaneously, many to embrace and use the experiences of being for Student Aff
claim that the world of academia has not come woman in shaping her values, both profes- Maureen Hartf
far enough. sionally and personally. "Those were alw
Patty Stroud, director of the legal advocacy "In many respects, I feel extremely fortu- fields where wo
fund of the American Association of nate to be nurtured along the way," Cantor could move up."
University Women, said the path is still long said. "I wouldn't trade being a woman and
and wide. being an academic for the world." Breaking t
"I know we haven't come far enough," Because women typically feel responsible gender barri4
Stroud said, noting that the number of women for juggling more than one priority in their Some believe
lag far behind the number of men in many sci lives, including family, job and community, concept of a b
ence departments. "The challenges are many. Cantor said, they are more prepared to adjust ceiling creates lit

onal
me,"
dent
fairs
ord.
qays
men
he
e.
. the
lass
mits

Women, far more than
men, cluster in the
lower-paying fields.
. They more often
follow the untenured
track. The barriers to
the tenure track are
clear."
Stroud cited
University, statisticsH
to demonstrate the {
imbalance of female
and male professor-
ships. She noted that
the University
employs 724 male
professors and 98
femaes. a
"There is about a
$10,000 difference
between the pay rates
of men and women at
the University of
Michigan, with
women making less," ,
Stroud said. "Women
are basically still
earning 87 percent of
what men in acade-
mia are earning.
"One of the major

with changing circum-

Some stats on
women in academia:
U At the University, 12 percent of
full professors are women, while 36
percent of assistant
professors are women.

stances.
"Out of it comes a
sense of being adapt-
able and flexible and
light on your feet,"
Cantor said. "They
don't take themselves
quite as grandly or
seriously as some
male colleagues
may."

® Nationally, only5
percent of enginee
are women, while 4
humanities profess
0 Thirty percent of
professors are won
S As of 1992, 32.5
percent of facultyA
O From 1990 to 19
proportion of fema'
School of Educatio
-Sources:
Education
Chraracter, " a

5.9

ring professors Susan Montgomery,
40.8 percent of assistant professor of
ors are women. chemical engineering,
said the differences
flaw school between men and
nen. women need to be
acknowledged and
accommodated.
were women. Experiences, such as
996, the pregnancy and child
9,aul the rearing, have very
le faculty in the specific effects on
n nearly tripled, women's lives.
"Being treated
U.S. Department of equally is not neces-
and "Climates and sarily the answer,"
University report. Montgomery said. "I
think that women fac-
ulty have difficult bal-
ances to make between family and careers."
Montgomery said she is getting off the
tenure track to concentrate more fully on her
family. The chemical engineering department
has supported her decision, she said.
Stroud said that many women are punished
for taking legal maternity leave.
"Many times, women leave work due to
pregnancy and take their legal, rightful
leave," Stroud said. "There are instances
when officials in charge of promotions take
the leaves into account and interpret it as a
lack of commitment to their career, and they
receive a penalty for it. We need to look at the
universities. We need to be beyond this. The
laws in the books say it is illegal to discrimi-
nate based on sex."
Many women said being a woman did not

for women in acade-
mies and other
fields, and spurs the
momentum of
opposing opinions
against .women 's
causes.
Linda Gillum,
assistant dean of the
Medical School, said
the perception of a
glass ceiling for
women often under-
mines other traits.
"I guess I've
always been one to
question the whole
proverbial glass ceil-
ing," Gillum said.
"The glass ceiling is
not necessarily the
barrier it's perceived
to be."
Gillum said more
factors than gender
contribute to a per-
son's professional
rise, including eth- Provost Nancy Cantorf
nicity and religion. University's second in (
Women reach pinna-
cles in their careers not entirely based on their
gender, and other obstacles may indicate that
one's path might need rerouting rather than a
halt, Gillum said.
Dean of Nursing Ada Sue Hinshaw said the
pipeline of women in all fields, including non-
traditional fields like engineering or business,
are expanding because of a gradual shift in
viable options, starting as early as kinder-
garten and elementary school.
"We have a lot of work to do in those early
years to open those options for young women,
as well as for young men," Hinshaw said.-
Gillum said that women medical students
currently have excellent opportunities in pre-
professional programs and advancement.
"I'm always out there recruiting excellent
students," Gillum said, adding that she gets'
excited to give young prospects the "motiva-

WARREN ZINN/Daily
former dean of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, recently assumed the position of the
command. Prior to coming to the University, she was chair of Princeton's psychology departmert..

problems is that there are vastly more men,"
Stroud said. "Why is this happening?"
Finding a balance
For the greater part of the 20th century,
women who pursued careers in higher educa-
tion found themselves halted by so-called
g;las ceilings that did not exist for their male
counterparts.
Gradual strides made during recent decades
haye led to more gender-blind opportunities,
which is evident in the University's adminis-
Iation and faculty.
University women celebrated the recent
appointment of Provost Nancy Cantor, the
fist woman to fill the position, as an emblem
to this progress.
"A great many people are encouraged by

diversity includes advancing women in high-
er education positions, as well as increasing
the number of female students. The stressing
of diversity includes creating more attractive
opportunities for women and other tradition-
ally underrepresented groups, Hartford said.
"Certainly, the number of women in more
senior professorial levels has increased over
the past few years, and also in non-traditional
roles. I think there have been more women in
the pipeline," she said, adding that people
should not only look at the number of women
who hold full professorships, but also the
number of women who are assistant profes-
sors.
'Those glass ceilings are
now fading'
"I think the barriers and obstacles, be them

the appointment of Nancy Cantor to the hinder their careers because the road had tional speech" and extends the invitation to in institutions and schools, are begin-
provost," said Associate Vice President for already been paved for them, since they were all students that she is accessible for advice ning to break," Cantor said. "I think
University Relations Lisa Baker. "Both men traditionally female-oriented fields. concerning the medical field, they will break down if people
and women know how outstanding she is. "(Being a woman is) not something that I Hartford said the University's emphasis on realize it takes work to
change tradition."
Cantor said efforts can
be funneled in more .
than one direction,"
including continuing
the creation of oppor-
tunities for women in,
higher education, making
those opportunities recog-
nizable at early ages and
acknowledging the strides;
women have made contribute
to,women's advancement, Cantor
said.
.' "Part of it is numbers," Cantor said.
"Part' of it is celebrating these
advances and building a pipeline in
middle and elementary schools.
'Stroud said it is necessary for
female students to, have the opportunity to be
taught by female professors. "If I am a stu-
dent in a program that is all taught by men,
where am I to find a role model? I begin to
think, 'Why am I such a minority? Can I suc-
"Many times when women are enrolled in
programs that are traditionally male they find
hostility, such as instances of sexual harass-
ment or direct harassment. It becomes hard
for the student to moe..thropgh the program
awithout a mentor tostake themnthrough it and
<,,helpt'them know what the, can do i and

haven't seen it," Cantor said.
Hinshaw said that as long as a person
whether male or female, has defined the*
goals and vision regarding their careers, gen-
der transcends obstacles.
"The gender is not so much of an issue in
that case," Hinshaw said, adding that interac-
tion between men and women enhances the
final product. "But you also bring a different
perspective on the way you see things and
handle issues," Hinshaw said. "You're now
part of the team."
Hinshaw said that both female and male
deans share many of the same stories an
relate well to each other in their positions.1W
"I don't think there's any difference
between the male and female deans,"
Hinshaw said. "They tend to be much of the
same stories."
Hinshaw attributed the increase of
,opportunities for women and the
use of programs for support
and guidance as ways to
boost the number of
women in academi
and other fields.
Hinshaw predict-
ed that women will
continue to break
barriers.
"'It will happen. I'm
firmly convinced of
that," she said. "Those
glass ceilings are now
fading.."
Stroud said her office; which
provides financial support to
women suing institutions of higher
education for sexual discrimina-
tion, takes on about 10 cases annu-
ally.
"We get approximately 10 cases,
a year, but we get between five and 25 calls a
week from women considering suing or that
have sued," Stroud said. "Obviously, I find it
rather shocking that 20 years after the Civil
Rights Act there, is still the number of case-
coming to me.
"Women are still suffering discrimination
in higher education. Enforcement is still in the
works," Stroud said. "This is one q f the fears
with Proposition 209 and bans on affirmative
action.
'"(This legislation) says that 'we are an
equal society.' This is simply not true"

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