Congratulations: It's a Web Site!

Mar 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Last October I wrote about Vision2020, a decade-long drive for true equality of the sexes by the centennial of the 19th amendment in 2020 (click here).

This event required each of us delegates to develop an action project directed at some part of women's inequality. During the conversations last fall, inspiration hit me.

Let's start with some background:

Twelve years ago, Nancy H. Hopkins, a molecular biologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, began measuring lab space to prove that women faculty received less support than men, an effort that eventually led to sustained efforts at MIT to combat gender discrimination. As the New York Times reported on March 21, MIT shows substantial progress in its fight for equality. You might believe that other institutions picked up on this issue and began their own quest to eliminate gender bias.

You might be wrong.

What was different about the MIT case and other institutions? The women at MIT called them on it with data. Their data became public knowledge as well, not merely a paper in a scholarly journal.

My vision began to form of a place to document sexism, intentional or unintentional, in the world of academia. A place where inequality could be examined, documented, discussed, and, perhaps, cured. All of this would take place with public scrutiny, and we would come up with ways to assess "female-friendliness" on various campuses. This score or grade could be useful for future women students and could also be used to demonstrate progress by various academic institutions.

Academic Women for Equality Now was conceived. I also liked the name because it sounds like "Uh, now." That's the answer to the question, "Well, when do you want equality?"

Today, the site is born!

Initially, the site will focus on academic medical centers and colleges of medicine. I am familiar with this area of academia, and the Association of American Medical Colleges collects data that makes it an accessible starting point.

I want AWEnow to be more than a web site. Ultimately, I hope we can get discussions going to allow women to connect and find solutions to problems they face. If you are interested in collaborating (anything from writing a guest post to partnering with me to address another area of academia) drop me a line via the contact tab on the site.

You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

So click our logo and check out the site. Hook up with us on social media. Chat, converse, and debate sexism in the ivory tower.

9 responses so far

  • brooksphd says:

    Excellent, congratulations and good luck! Do you expect much push back from certain elements or is this being viewed positively in general?

  • Dr. O says:

    Congratulations! Following you on Twitter already...I'll check out the site a little more this week in between experiments and poster-making. šŸ˜‰

  • CoR says:

    This is one of the coolest ideas ever, and I am just kinda beside myself with happiness to see this idea take shape. And also to see someone doing something, especially in the face of current GOP tactics. Thanks whizbang.

  • Scientista says:

    I'm excited to see how this goes. Congratulations and good luck!

  • jc says:

    When do we get to start calling out asshats? I'm in!

    I heart Nancy Hopkins.

    When the Chronicle posted the rankings of departments last year, they had a "number of women" column. I puked every time I saw a zero, and was not surprised to see the hoards of ones and twos and threes, in depts with dozens of men. Flunk their discriminatory asses, in big print. I only wish that funding agencies paid attention, and that they stop funding departments with horribly unequal faculties. grrrrrrrrrr

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