Commitment to Gender Equity
issue of Almanac includes the first
annual report documenting the University's responses
to the Gender Equity Report issued in December 2001.
This annual report reinforces the seriousness with
which we view gender equity and diversity in general.
As we said in our initial response to the Gender Equity
Report, Penn's efforts have not been uniform across
all schools and departments. There is still much work
to be done, and we are committed to working with the
faculty, department chairs and deans to implement
both short- and long-term strategies to meet these
are challenged by several current studies indicating
that our peer institutions are successfully recruiting
talented women to join their faculty. In a recent
study of our peer schools issued by Stanford, we have
learned that Penn does not compare favorably for numbers
of women in many fields.
Gender Equity Report provides us with a guideline
about where and how to proceed to reduce the inequities
found. Clearly much of the effort will need to occur
at the department level where the initial hiring and
promotion decisions are made. It is also at this level
that we are likely to find some naysayers--those who
believe there are few women sufficiently qualified
to join their ranks. Yet our peer institutions have
been successful in finding such faculty. Recruitment
packages should not be a deterrent for us, either.
Through the Office of the Provost, Penn now has in
place special recruitment and retention programs that
should help make all of our offers competitive with
those of our peers. This commitment must be as strong
throughout the University. We have asked the twelve
deans to include faculty gender and minority equity
in their schools' strategic plans. Each has done so
without hesitation. We are confident that with a persistent
focus on these important initiatives, particularly
at the department level, we will achieve the diversity
that should be characteristic of a superb faculty.
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 13, November 19, 2002