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Gender gap persists


UCLA Today Staff

Major findings of a faculty climate survey distributed last year to all faculty show that 80% of those surveyed (78% of the women and 82% of the men) reported they “would choose to work at UCLA, if given the opportunity to choose again.”

But the survey, taken by the Gender Equity Committee on Academic Climate and compiled by UCLA’s Institute for Social Science Research, also revealed that women were less satisfied than men about most aspects of faculty life assessed by the questionnaire. Differences were most pronounced in the areas of resource negotiation, service burden, family responsibilities, campus safety and exposure to inappropriate behaviors. All responses were kept anonymous.

“By and large, faculty are satisfied with UCLA, but there are persistent gender differences in how the academic climate is viewed,” said committee chair Judith M. Siegel, professor of public health. “We have made a number of recommendations that begin to address the gender disparities. We are optimistic that these recommendations can be implemented, but they can only succeed with the commitment and dedication to change from administrators at all levels and from faculty themselves.”

According to an executive summary, women felt less influential, rate their work environment as less collegial and view the evaluation process as less fair. They also feel less informed about academic advancement and resource negotiation, and they rate the distribution of resources as less equitable.

Faculty from racial/ethnic groups other than non-Hispanic white also reported they are less satisfied with their experiences at UCLA than faculty who identify as non-Hispanic whites. Faculty in non-ladder series report being less satisfied than ladder faculty. In comparison to assistant or full professors, associate professors have the most negative perceptions of equity in academic advancement and access to relevant information.

Overall, however, regardless of gender, faculty who perceive their working environment to be collegial, stimulating and supportive are most satisfied with UCLA.

The committee has made seven recommendations to improve the academic climate and foster productivity. The status of women and ethnic minority faculty, for example, should be incorporated as an element in the review of academic programs and administrations, including the Academic Senate’s eight-year program reviews and deans’ administrative review, the committee noted.

To see the committee’s full reports and recommendations, go to:

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