Overview

In 2015, RIT created the Advocates & Allies program through funding from the National Science Foundation Grant No.1500604 titled, "Engaging Male Colleagues in Institutional Transformation for the Advancement of Women Faculty." The Advocates & Allies project at RIT is based on an innovative approach designed by North Dakota State University to involve faculty men intentionally in the transformation of departmental cultures and practices. Our method, based on the NDSU approach, is specifically designed for academic settings to support men faculty, in consultation with women faculty, in gender-equity efforts and includes two essential components:

1) Recognize the implicit and explicit intersectional manifestations of gendered discrimination and

2) Effectively and systematically generate individual behaviors and institutional policies that interrupt inequities and foster gender justice.

The mission of the Advocates and Allies program is:

Introduce men to knowledge, skills, and strategies to effect positive personal, departmental, and institutional change

Emphasize men working with other men while maintaining accountability to women

Build a supportive network of men allies who are committed to gender equity

Tips for Being an Ally

Here are suggested actions that one can take to be an ally for women faculty:

  • Tell women (and men) faculty that you are an ally
  • Ask women faculty about their experience with departmental climate, and listen to their answer
  • Ensure women faculty members have equal opportunity to speak during meetings
  • Ensure women faculty are invited to informal departmental gatherings
  • Talk to women faculty about their research
  • Nominate qualified women for awards, honors, and positions
  • Volunteer to serve on promotion, tenure, faculty search, and other committees with specific purpose of being an ally for gender equity

 

Tips for Being an Advocate

  • Faculty men with a strong commitment and record of supporting women faculty in their department, colleges, and the university
  • Active and effective proponents of gender diversity and equity 
  • Committed to increasing their understanding of gender bias and its impact on the academic careers of women. 
  • Expected to have an awareness of the dynamics of institutional and structural bias and privilege and be interested in learning about issues of discrimination and privilege in the workplace.
  • A group that  meets regularly  (monthly) and works toward specific goals and outcomes, discusses recommended readings and case studies and is involved in the development and delivery of training programs for male faculty who are interested in becoming Allies.

Advocates & Allies

Nearly 100 RIT faculty men have attended Ally training and taken action, primarily within their own department. Common actions taken include:

  • Speaking up at meetings regarding gender diversity and equity
  • Act as an active bystander to support an inclusive, civil work environment
  • Invite women colleagues to collaborate on research
  • Nominate women colleagues for awards
  • Serve on a committee as a gender equity proponent in place of their women colleagues to reduce the inequity of service loads
     

Advocates are faculty men who support faculty women by working towards improving gender diversity and equity. These advocates have a strong commitment to supporting women faculty in their department, colleges, and the university. They are aware of institutional dynamics and structural bias while showing an interest in learning about issues of discrimination and privilege in the workplace. The advocates are active and effective proponents of gender diversity and equity.

Advocates & Allies Workshop Offerings:

2016

Ally Training, March 3

During this session, the main objectives were refining and strengthening targeted institutional structures, and install practices that promote representation and advancement of women faculty. Also improving the quality of women faculty work life, professional development, and incentive/reward structures was another point of conversation along with aligning institutional, administrative, and informal systems of power and resources to support and sustain progress by shaping the political frameworks that impact representation and advancement of women. Finally, enhancing the working environment and support career advancement for women faculty using symbolic measures which emphasize issues of meaning within the organization was a main focus point.

Participants:

  • Edward Brown, KGCOE
  • Nathan Cahill, COS
  • Robert Carter, KGCOE
  • Christopher Collison, COS
  • Javier Espinosa, CLA
  • Marcos Estermen, KGCOE
  • Scott Franklin, COS
  • Robert Garrick, CAST
  • Robert Glick, CLA
  • Matthew Hoffman, COS
  • Dan Johnson, CAST
  • Carl Lutzer, COS
  • Samuel Malachowsky, GCCIS
  • David Martins, AA/COLA
  • Ruben Proano, KGCOE
  • Rajendra Raj, GCCIS
  • Stan Rickel, CIAS
  • David Schwartz, GCCIS
  • Phillip Shaw, COLA
  • Grover Swartzlander, COS
  • Harvey Walker, CAST
  • Steve Zilora, GCCIS

 

Ally Professional Development Session, November 2:

At this session, the following information was shared with participants: research related to the role gender plays in the career lives of women faculty, data related to the representation of women faculty at RIT, and results from RIT climate surveys (i.e. COACHE), and steps you can take to improve institutional climate at RIT.

 Interactive theater was used to present case studies and allow faculty to learn how and practice being an effective bystander. This portion of the session was presented by True Story Theater, RIT’s Diversity Theater and facilitated by Maureen Scully, PhD. from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Participants:

  • Nana-Yaw Andoh, GIS
  • Bharat Bhole, COLA
  • Alvin M. Boyd, NTID
  • Christopher Collison, COS
  • Matthew Dye, NTID
  • Michael Eastman, CAST
  • Christopher Hinesley, CLA
  • Clark Hochgraf, CAST
  • Nikolaus Kasimatis, COLA
  • Michael Laver, CLA
  • Carl Lutzer, COS
  • Kenn Martinez, GCCIS
  • Gary Molinari, CIAS
  • Jeff Pelz, COS
  • Mark Reisch, CIAS
  • John-David Rocha, COS
  • Brian Schroeder, CLA
  • Matthew Wright, GCCIS
  • Shanchieh Yang,, KGCOE

 

2017

Advocates and Allies Training, March 29:

At this session, the following information was shared with participants: research related to the role gender plays in the career lives of women faculty, data related to the representation of women faculty at RIT, and results from RIT climate surveys (i.e. COACHE), discussion of case studies and steps you can take to improve institutional climate at RIT.

Participants:

  • Larry Buckley, COS
  • Christopher Collison, COS
  • Steven Day, KGCOE
  • Marcos Esterman, KGCOE
  • Gerald Fly, KGCOE
  • Thomas Gaborski, KGCOE
  • Neil Hair, ILI/Academic Affairs
  • Joseph Henning, COLA
  • Keith Jenkins, DDI/Office of the President
  • Andres Kwasinski, KGCOE
  • Matthew Marshall, KGCOE
  • Mohamed Wiem Mkaouer, GCCIS
  • Alan Nye, KGCOE
  • Michael Schrlau, KGCOE
  • Joshua Thorson, CIAS
  • Jeffrey Wagner, CLA
  • James Winebrake, COLA

 

Advocates and Allies Training, March 30:

At this session, the following information was shared with participants: research related to the role gender plays in the career lives of women faculty, data related to the representation of women faculty at RIT, and results from RIT climate surveys (i.e. COACHE), discussion of case studies and steps you can take to improve institutional climate at RIT.

Participants:

  • Martin Anselm, CAST
  • Daniel Ashbrook, GCCIS
  • Joseph Baschnagel, COLA
  • J Scott Hawker, GCCIS
  • Thomas Kinsman, GCCIS
  • Jason Kolodziej, KGCOE
  • Eddery Lam, CLA
  • Aaron McGowan, COS
  • Edward Mineck, NTID
  • Robert Osgood, CHST
  • Bryan Reinicke, SCB
  • John Schueckler, CAST

 

2019

Engaging All Faculty in Institutional Transformation, December 10:

This workshop that explored the factors that underlie underrepresentation of women faculty in the STEM academic workplace and the arguments for the changes needed in the academy in order for women to fully participate. Participants were engaged in active discussions which were culminated in highlighting actions and what participants could do to get started.

Participants:

  • Margaret Bailey, KGCOE
  • Mari Blanchard, CAD
  • Sorim Chung, SCB
  • Jennifer Connelly, COS
  • Elisabetta D’Amanda, COLA
  • Marcos Esterman, KGCOE
  •  Joshua Faber, COS
  • Andrew Ferrante, COS
  • Carmala Garzione, Faculty Affairs/Academic Affairs
  • Joseph Hill, NTID
  • Larry Kiser, GCCIS
  • Blanca Lapizco-Encinas, KGCOE
  • Sonia Lopez Alarcon, KGCOE
  • Carol Marchetti, COS
  • Aaron McGowan, COS
  • Michael Mior, GCCIS
  • Jie Qiao, COS
  • Annemarie Ross, NTID
  • Vincent Serravallo, COLA
  • Taj Smith, DDI
  • Michael Starenko, ILI/Academic Affairs
  • Grover Swartzlander, COS
  • Patricia Taboada-Serrano, KGCOE
  • Bing Yan, KGCOE

 

Select Related Activities List:

Teaching Circle:

Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing by Corbett and Hill explores the factors that underlie underrepresentation of women in the engineering and computing workplace. This repost argues for changes in the academy in order for women’s full participation. The report emphasizes the need to combat stereotypes and biases, emphasize the social relevance of STEM, cultivating a sense of belonging and changing the environment.

We propose a teaching circle dedicated to systematically reviewing the chapters in the report, connecting the content to RIT and reflecting on action that we could take to change the work environment.

Why this matters to RIT, faculty and students: Diversity in the workplace contributes significantly to the performance of that workplace.  We need to be part of the solution that ultimately leads to parity – we need to start with us!

While we will discuss actions, the goal of this teaching circle is self-reflection, collaborative discussion and personal action.  If something that benefits the university in a more systematic way manifests itself, we will leverage it, but that is not the goal.

Participants:

  • Nasibeh Azadeb Fard, KGCOE
  • Margaret Bailey, KGCOE
  • Ghazal Dehghani, KGCOE
  • Marcos Esterman, KGCOE
  • Andrew Ferrante, COS
  • Bonnie Jacob, NTID
  • Sonia Lopez Alarcon, KGCOE
  • Mary Lynn Reed, COS
  • Michael Starenko, ILI/Academic Affairs
 

 

 

 

Advocates & Allies

Resources

Gender Diversity: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty
Best practices in working with transgender students and colleagues

Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, AAUW, 2015.
Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing focuses on the underrepresentation of women in engineering and computing and provides practical ideas for educators and employers seeking to foster gender diversity. From new ways of conceptualizing the fields for beginning students to good management practices, the report recommends large and small actions that can add up to real change.” (p.ix)

Overview of Advocates & Allies Includes:

  • Recognizing Male Privilege
  • Individual Actions for Allies
  • References and Recommended Reading
     

Advocates & Allies Poster
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1500604. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Print Resources from AdvanceRIT

Print Resources from NDSU

Advocates & Allies - In the News!

Article
Helping to end gender bias with Advocates & Allies

Advocates & Allies PI Team and Advisory Board

  • Betsy Dell (original PI and co-PI on primary award) Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology, College of Engineering Technology
  • Carol Marchetti School of Mathematical Sciences, College of Science
  • Marcos Esterman Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
  • Margaret Bailey, PE (current PI and co-PI on primary award) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
  • Sharon Mason School of Information & Technologies, Golisano College of Computing & Information Sciences
  • Elena Sommers Department of English, College of Liberal Arts
  • Laura Shackelford Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Women & Gender Studies
  • Lea Michel School of Chemistry and Materials Science, College of Science
  • Rob Garrick (past Lead Advocate) Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology, College of Engineering Technology
  • Silvia Benso Department of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts
  • Taj Smith Office of Diversity & Inclusion

 

Advocates

College of Engineering Technology

  • Rob Garrick Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology

College of Liberal Arts

College of Science

Golisano College of Computing and Information Science

Kate Gleason College of Engineering

  • Vincent Amuso Department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering
  • Ed Brown Department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering
  • Marcos Esterman (Lead Advocate) Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Ruben A. Proano Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Saunders College of Business