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Donna J. Dean's presentation.

Strategic directions

  • Advocacy&Public Education
  • Promoting Institutional Change and Best Practices
  • Career Development
The cover of the book 'Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering' from the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. We have “a system that claims to reward based on merit but instead rewards traits such as assertiveness that are socially less acceptable for women.” ( BEYOND BIAS AND BARRIERS Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy National Academies of Sciences. 2006.)

A field full of sheep. image -->

Criteria for success

  • Number of collaborations
  • Number of grad students and postdocs
  • Number of invited talks
  • Amount of funding
  • Numbers of grants
  • Numbers of publications (most important)

A mouse with a helmet contemplates a piece of cheese on a trap.

Tools that can help us

A female construction worker.

  • Self Analysis
  • Networking
  • Mentoring
  • Coaching

Self analysis




Of pipelines and glass ceilings

A cover of Science entitled 'The Pipeline Problem'. A cover of Science entitled 'Women in Science'.

Critical elements

  1. Pipeline
    • Mentoring is NOT cloning!
    • Glass ceilings and sticky floors
  2. Climate
    • The general workplace
    • The scientific workplace
      • Administration
      • Scientists
      • Scientist-Administrators
  3. Unconscious bias
    • “We have an evolutionary predisposition to dwell on differences.”
    • Subtle gender bias and social expectations
    • “Different from”, not “better than”
    • “Move up, reach down”
    • ( Source: Elizabeth Spielke, Harvard )
    • “Unconscious discrimination arises due to deep seated habits that will be very hard to change - our selection procedures tend to select not only for talents that are directly relevant to success in science but also for assertiveness and single mindedness . . . . qualities that are at best very indirectly related to being a good scientist and that clash with cultural pressures.”
    • ( Source: Howard Georgi, Harvard )
  4. Balancing personal life and work
    • Seriously reconsider assumptions about what successful individuals’ careers are supposed to look like
    • Women follow less direct paths/different sequences of positions in a different spirit
    • Some evidence that productivity occurs later in women’s careers than male counterparts
  5. Community and culture
    • “Culture eats strategy for lunch”
    • ( Source: Mark Bard, management guru )
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” (Thomas Jefferson) A man studies the plans of a labyrinth, which is being built before him.
A woman hold up a magnet, which students reading books are flying to. Encourage women to become connected to a large community that encourages, sustains and supports them in their careers. Work with students to foster a more supportive and favorable climate for all.

Every person’s bill of rights

  • The right to be treated with respect.
  • The right to have and express our own feelings.
  • The right to be listened to and taken seriously.
  • The right to set our priorities.
  • The right to say “no” without feeling guilty.

A scale balances a pot at the end of the rainbow against a half full glass.

It isn't just science!

  • Of the 2000 plays performed in 2001-2002 season, only 17% were by women writers.
  • Fewer than 1% of orchestral performances in 2002-2003 represented works by women.
  • What is the Fund for Women Artists working to do?
    • Transform social stereotypes in the arts
    • Empower female artists
    • Increase opportunities

Construction crews stare confusedly at each other from across a gap in a bridge that's been built out over the water from both sides. Unfortunately, the two sides are misaligned by about one car length.

A diverse group of people surrounds an atom.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic jam.

A confused woman stands before a signpost pointed all four ways.

A traffic signal with dozens of lights pointing in all directions.


  • Acquiring the requisite credentials
  • Recognizing opportunities
  • Learning from mistakes and missteps
  • Dealing with own biases and misconceptions
  • Developing a sense of one’s career directions and timing
  • Selecting appropriate role models
  • Meshing one’s values with the workplace
  • Balancing the pieces of one’s life
  • Creating opportunities for others
  • Knowing when to move on
  • Calculated risk-taking
A chemist at her desk examining test tubes. I look back upon my youth and realize how so many people gave me help, understanding, courage. . . very important things to me and they never knew it. They entered into my life and became powers within me.   All of us live spiritually by what others have given us, often unwittingly, in the significant hours of our life. At the time these significant hours may not even be perceived. We may not recognize them until years later when we look back, as one remembers some long-ago music or a boyhood landscape.” (Albert Schweitzer)

Wrong way sign.

Life balance and career in context

Three circles, entitled career, personal life, and community, overlapping.

Three circles, entitled career, personal life, and community, overlapping nearly completely.

Three circles, entitled career, personal life, and community, not overlapping.

Chinese proverb: 'Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are'.

A professor carefully marks a giant X through a colleague's work on a chalkboard.

  • Condescending chivalry
  • Supportive discouragement
  • Friendly harassment
  • Radiant devaluation
  • Benevolent exploitation
  • Considerate domination
  • Collegial exclusion
  • ( Source: Gender, Work, and Medicine, NEJM 331:60 7/7/1994 )

So, what's a woman to do?

A close up of a woman's face as she examines a test tube. A woman sits at a table with her head in her hands.

In the midst of some sophisticated equations on a board stands 'Then a miracle occurs...'

'survival kit' for life

  • to help you separate fact from untruths
  • to remind you to be flexible
  • so you don’t let your feelings get hurt
  • to jot down why you have chosen your career
  • so you learn that mistakes are okay
  • to help you screen out background and distractions
  • because you have to stick with it
  • to remind you of your self worth, you are worth a mint to your organization
  • because you have to like yourself first – and because it’s chocolate!
Life is too short not to do what you love. Be open to the possibilities that will come your way unexpectedly. (Jerome Hines)

What does all this mean?

The lens you peer through determines the view you see and what you describe to others.
A rainbow spreads behind a beaker containing the Earth. Diverse faces peer out of a skyscraper.

“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received – only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

A cat walks past a line of German Shepherd polic dogs.

One half of a building says 'Optimists' Club: Open Mornings'. The other half says 'Pessimists' Club: Closed Afternoons'.

A polar bear sliding on his back next to a 'watch for ice' sign.

Four little words that can change the world: You can do it! Kids cheering.

Career trees (not ladders)
Many branches can lead to success

Two owls in a tree.

“Whom the gods wish to destroy, they give unlimited resources.” (Twyla Tharp, choreographer)

A picture taken with a scanning electron microscope.


  • Rutgers University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Tulane University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • University of Houston
  • New Mexico State University
  • University of Southern California
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

National facilities

  • National Primate Research Centers
  • University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
  • Fermi Research Alliance (FRA)
  • Associated Universities, Inc. (NRAO)

Scientific organizations

  • Association of Independent Research Institutes
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • Sea Grant Association
  • National Association of Marine Laboratories
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Public Broadcasting Service
  • South Dakota Science and Technology Authority

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, 2008 nsf advance workshop: negotiating the ideal faculty position. OpenStax CNX. Feb 24, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10628/1.3
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