“The Science Glass Ceiling: Academic Women Scientists and Their Struggle to Succeed” will be presented on Tuesday, November 13, at noon in the Signal Mountain Room of the UTC University Center by Dr. Sue V. Rosser, Dean of Ivan Allen College, the liberal arts college of Georgia Tech where she holds the Ivan Allen Dean’s Chair of Liberal Arts and Technology and is also Professor of History, Technology, and Society and Professor of Public Policy. She is also a 2007-2008 Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer.
Sigma Xi is a faculty group, an honorary society for those in the Sciences and Engineering. The society is exists to honor Ph.D. level scientists and engineers, to serve as a forum for these individuals to meet and discuss common concerns and goals, and to promote research and scholarship.
UTC Chapter of Sigma Xi and the UTC Women’s Studies Program are co-sponsoring Rosser’s lecture, which is free and open to the public.
Rosser received her Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1973. She has edited collections and written 120 journal articles on the theoretical and applied problems of women, science, and technology and women’s health. She is author of nine books.
She has received several grants from the National Science Foundation, including “A USC System Model for Transformation of Science and Math Teaching to Reach Women in Varied Campus Settings” and “POWRE Workshop.”
Rosser’s lecture will address questions that are still germane to UTC and many colleges, universities, and research entities.
“Whereas females are a slight majority in the general population and an even larger majority among current college and university students, they are substantially in the minority among practicing scientists,” said Dr. Timothy J. Gaudin, UC Foundation Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and UTC Sigma Xi Chapter President. “Although I believe that recent trends are showing improvements in this regard, there are still far more advanced degrees in science and engineering awarded to men than to women. Moreover, women continue to face unique issues once they find permanent research and teaching positions. Issues like child bearing, family leave, and outright gender discrimination, still negatively impact the ability of female scientists to find jobs, to gain tenure and promotions, and to obtain grant funding.”
Guadin said that UTC has a longstanding interest in increasing the diversity of faculty, and increasing the number of female faculty is an integral part of these efforts.
“However, we still have much to do, as male faculty still greatly outnumber females in the science and engineering disciplines, especially at associate and full professor level,” Gaudin said. “It is encouraging that in disciplines like Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics UTC has hired a large number of female faculty, a fact that bodes well for the future gender-based diversity of our faculty.”