AdvanceRIT started as an Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1209115). In 2018, RIT established a permanent ADVANCE office in Academic Affairs with a director and staff. The project influenced long-term change that transformed RIT’s culture, promoted inclusion, and expanded the representation of women on campus and among leadership.
The AdvanceRIT (NSF ADVANCE 1209115) program goal was to increase the representation, retention, and career advancement of women faculty in STEM. The research team examines the unique challenges experienced by women faculty of color and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing faculty, and refines interventions to address the needs of these key sub-populations. The AdvanceRIT program influences long-term changes that transform RIT’s culture, promote inclusion, and expand the representation of women on campus and among leadership.
Grant objectives are to:
Refine and strengthen institutional structures;
Improve the quality of women faculty’s work life including reward structures;
Align systems of power and resources to support and sustain progress; and
Enhance the working environment using symbolic measures that emphasize issues of meaning and significance within the organization.
Research conducted through the AdvanceRIT program includes the EFFORT IT Catalyst Study, Career Life Survey, climate surveys, COACHE Faculty Survey, NSF Indicator, and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Research.
During the first two years of the AdvanceRIT project, the Women of Color research team conducted two focus groups, consisting largely of tenure-track STEM WoC faculty at RIT during the spring of 2013. Also in 2013, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) series invited NTID DHH women participants to develop an agenda for future events, and the Advance Women of Color (WoC) research team started a Promotion and Tenure Series for AALANA faculty to support their career advancement.