Blueprint for Gender Equity at America's Next Great University: The Ten Year Update of the Senate Council Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women Employed at UK
UK Women's Forum Luncheon
March 28, 2001
Opening Remarks by Dr. Susan J. Scollay, Chair
2000-2001 UK Senate Council Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women
On behalf of the entire Women's Committee, it is an honor to be at this UK Women's Forum luncheon and to have this venue for the first public presentation of the 10-year Update of the original, comprehensive assessment of the status of women employees at the University of Kentucky.
Before we get into presenting the current report, I want to take this opportunity to recognize some of those who have provided organizational leadership for efforts to improve the status of women on campus during the last 10 years, and I would also like to introduce those without whom the current report could not have been completed.
First, to honor our hosts today, the Senate Council Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women would like to recognize all those who have chaired the Women's Forum:. Madame Chairs, if you will stand as I call your name, and Audience, please hold your applause until all are introduced:
Angela Back Randolph Hollingsworth Linda Blair Bonnie Johnson Jeannie Caldwell Diana Rast
Unable to attend today are 2 other Women's Forum Chairs:
Louise Stone and Susan Hodgetts Stempel.
Thank you all for your efforts and work on behalf of UK women.
Now, please join me in recognizing the former Chairs of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women, leaders all, who protected & nurtured the flame of gender equity for the last decade: Please stand as I call your name:
Carolyn Bratt, Joan Callahan and Ramona Rush
Thank you, friends and colleagues, for your longstanding commitment to--and tireless efforts on behalf of-- women's equality!
Next, I would like to recognize the members of the Senate Council Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women. Here is a listing of the Original Committee members:
Carolyn S. Bratt, Chair
Ernest J. Middleton
Mary Sue Coleman
Patricia E. Murphy
Bonnie Jean Cox
Lorraine E. Garkovich
Jean G. Pival
Janet L. Hurley
Susan J. Scollay
John Paul Jones
Celinda E. Todd
Gretchen E. LaGodna
This is a list of the total Committee membership over the last
Joan Callahan, Chair 1996-1999
Ramona Rush, Chair 1999-2000
Eileen D. Abel
Jeffrey P. Bieber
Barbara A. Phillips
Kate J. Black
Susan M. Roberts
Darla R. Botkin
Keith K. Schillo
Patricia A. Cooper
Bernice A. Smith
Linda P. Dwoskin
Mary E. Vore
Diana W. Martin
Linda K. Worley
And now, it is my pleasure and honor to introduce a very special group of people: the Executive Leadership Team of the current Ad Hoc Committee. These are the individuals who donated countless hours to researching and preparing the report that will be presented today: Please stand as I call your name:
|Angela Back||Jenny Hoobler|
|Terry Birdwhistell||Jan Hurley|
|Carolyn Bratt||Jenny Jones-Goodwin|
|Virginia Nordin||Gretchen LaGodna|
|Ester Edwards||Monica Stoch|
Each of these people contributed something different and special along the road today And each contribution was of critical importance. I could tell you all stories about each of those contributions, but I think everyone on the leadership team would agree: we need to highlight Angela Back and her contribution today!!
Look around you!! The lesson here is clear: If you want to throw a great party, one that is incredibly well organized and pulled off with impeccable taste and panache: Call Angela!!! She did this luncheon, folks!!! Thank you Angela!!! Leadership Team: Thank you all!! You are terrific!!! It has been an honor to work with you this year!!
Finally, I again draw your attention to the screen. These are members of the University Community, who are not members of the Ad Hoc Committee, but without whom, the Committee's work would not and could not have been completed!!
|Alumni Office Staff||Karen K. Minton|
|Patricia A. Bender||Matthew M. Morrison|
|Janet S. Cabaniss||Libby J. Moss|
|Juanita W. Fleming||Phyllis J. Nash|
|Bessie Guerrant||Amy Osborne|
|Mary Ann Isaacs||Carol J. Parris|
|Tim McCarthy||Michele D. Ripley|
|The late Joan McCauley||Thomas D. Rosko|
|Allison McGhee||Celinda E. Todd|
|Harriet McVey||Dan Vantreese|
In particular, I would like to highlight Tom Rosko who produced
The Tradition of Achievement, the wonderful picture montage of UK women we've
been enjoying. And Dan Vantreese & his staff, as well as Janet Cabaniss and
Cindy Todd. They are responsible for the final graphic design and the technical
production of the official 2001 Report.
To begin the heart of today's program, it is my distinct honor to introduce to you a woman who truly needs no introduction to an audience committed to gender equity!
For over 25 years, Professor Carolyn Bratt has provided unwavering and courageous leadership on campus and throughout the Commonwealth to secure equal rights for women. I could impress you with a long recitation of her many accomplishments or with an even longer list of her contributions to the betterment women's lives. But for now, suffice it to say: She is the one who first brought concerns about the status of UK's women employees to the attention of the University Senate Council. She chaired the first Senate Council Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women, and in that role, she inspired a totally volunteer group of folks to donate over two years of their lives to the investigation that was documented by the first report. She chaired the Senate Council when that first report was issued. And, she is the co-leader on the current Committee's Leadership Team as well.
In essence, there is no one who knows more about the status of women at UK than Carolyn Bratt and there no one anywhere who has been involved longer or more consistently in efforts to improve that status than Carolyn Bratt. Thus, there is no one else we could possibly turn to, to present this latest assessment! Professor Bratt, the podium is yours!
Remarks Concerning Findings
by Professor Carolyn S. Bratt, Co-Chair
Unveiling this ten-year update of the Ad Hoc Committee's Report on the Status of Women at a luncheon hosted by the Women's Forum in the month of March is doubly appropriate.
First, the Ad Hoc Committee and the Women's Forum are inextricably linked. As Jeanie has already explained, a similar luncheon hosted by the Women's Forum was the venue for the first public presentation of the original, 1990 report. But, the link is more substantive than merely "doing lunch" every ten years. During the last decade, both groups have given voice to the concerns of women on this campus.
Second, as March is Women's History Month, it seems particularly timely to refocus the attention of the UK community on the status of its women citizens. Our generation of women is not the first to attempt to persuade the academy that its treatment of women employees and students is wrongheaded. We are the contemporary manifestation of a centuries-long struggle to secure economic, political and social equality of all women.
This is what remains of the building in which our foremothers met in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.
Here they issued the "Declaration of Sentiments," a compilation
of women's grievances as citizens and as human beings and the first blueprint
for attaining true equality for women. The original document has been lost,
but our foremothers' words are inscribed on a wall behind a waterfall in this
very tiny national park that now marks the birthplace of America's organized
The Declaration of Sentiments begins:
The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having the direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, LET FACTS BE SUBMITTED TO A CANDID WORLD.
The study completed in the Fall of 1990, took its title from these words because the Committee recognized both the debt we owe to our foremothers and the responsibility each generation of women has to contribute to the on-going quest for full equality.
The groundbreaking study received local, state, national and international attention because it explored all facets of the work lives of all women employed by the University of Kentucky. It investigated every phase of university employment, from recruitment through retirement planning, and from salaries and wages to issues of organizational climate and culture. The workplace realities of support and professional staff women were documented with as much rigor and detail as were the experiences of faculty and administrative women.
In March 1994, "The Majority Report" was released.
It was a collaborative effort of the Women's Committee, Women's Forum and Women's Studies to monitor institutional progress in implementing the recommendations of the 1990 report. The coalition was necessary because UK had not, and still has not, established a staffed and funded commission on the status of UK women. The name was chosen to reflect the reality that more than 50% of all UK students and employees are women.
Now, the Women's Committee issues a ten year update - "A Blueprint for Gender Equity at America's Next Great University."
Our goal is the same one that motivated the earlier efforts - we want to contribute to the eradication of gender inequality. But, unlike its predecessors, this is a report without any physical dimensions because it exists only in cyberspace. You have at your seats a card with the web address of the report. We chose the web as our medium of expression in an effort to extend the continuum that began in 1848 at Seneca Falls into the digital age. When you go back to your offices this afternoon, log on to the site. Bookmark it. And, then give your card to another person who was not at today's luncheon.
The 1990 Report provides the baseline for this new appraisal of the formal status and workplace experiences of UK women. We use strategic indicators to document where progress has occurred during the last decade and where change and improvement are still needed. The report is organized round the same five areas of concerns identified in the 1990 report - entry/advancement; compensation and rewards; development and utilization; climate; and institutional self-awareness. As was true of the first report, this new one contains both a candid assessment of current realities and an ambitious plan for institutional change and improvement.
Because we intend this report to be forward-looking, Susan will talk with you in a few minutes about the specific action steps outlined in our blueprint for change. But, before she does that, I want to share a few of the report's facts and findings with you.
The 1990 Women's Committee undertook an extensive analysis of the then existing personnel system. For those of you in the audience who worked under that system I know you weren't surprised by our conclusion that it was irretrievably broken and that women bore the brunt of its bankruptcy. We found, for example, that the overwhelming majority of women administrative/professional staff employees held positions within the personnel system, but that 2 out 3 AP men were employed in positions outside of the system and were paid according to a host of various "exceptions" schemes.
Consistent with the 1990 recommendations, the University has implemented a new personnel system that appears to address many of the issues raised in the original report.
Unfortunately, however, the new system continues the practice of exempting certain employees from the constraints that apply to the rest of UK's monthly and bi-weekly employees.
This Quint-zero pool, as it is called, includes high level administrators and the athletic department staff. Both groups are dominated by men. As the recent Herald Leader article revealed, Quint-zero administrators receive far larger salaries and have enjoyed a disproportionately large share of salary increases. It is worth noting, however, that the few women who manage to get into this privileged pool are not exempt gender bias. Overall, these women receive lower salaries and smaller raises than their male counterparts.
The original report documented that women were concentrated in the lowest ranks of every employee group. The reclassification of positions that occurred when the the new personnel system was implemented has significantly lessened that problem for women in the bi-weekly employee pool. In 1990, 75% of all hourly women held jobs in lowest third of their position rankings. Today, more than 80% of all bi-weekly women hold jobs in middle third of the ranking system.
However, there has been little improvement for women who are monthly employees. As was true in 1990, today 8 of every 10 of these women workers hold positions in the bottom half of their classification system.
A similar phenomenon continues exists in the faculty ranks. Despite the increase in the absolute number of women professors (we now comprise 28% of the faculty), 83% of all faculty women are still in the assistant or associate professor ranks whereas almost 80% of all male faculty continue to be either associate or full professors. In fact, as this diagram demonstrates women associate professors today represent a smaller percentage of all faculty women then they did in 1990.
The 1990 study documented that UK has women's jobs and men's jobs. Unfortunately, ten years later gender segregation of the workforce remains a very real problem. More than 90% of all secretaries are women while only 3 of the 239 skilled crafts positions at UK are filled by women.
As the next two charts vividly show, gender segregation still exists in the bi-weekly and monthly employee pools. In both diagrams, the yellow line represents women and the blue line represents men. The red arrows mark the distance between these two lines. The longer the arrow at each position level, the greater the degree of gender segregation. As an engineer might describe it, the lines are "out of phase."
In 1990, UK contributed 10% to the retirement plans of its faculty members, but only 8% for its monthly and bi-weekly employees. As 90% of all women working at UK were not then, and are not now, employed as faculty, this inequality in pension contributions had a significant disparate impact on women. The original report strongly recommended that the University eliminate this practice. The Committee is happy to report that equity in retirement contributions has been achieved.
Compensation, as we all know, is more than merely the amount we are paid to perform our jobs. It also includes fringe benefits. Far too often, UK's fringe benefits continue to be absent, inadequate and/or the bare-bones minimum mandated by law. For example, UK denies benefits to its employees' domestic partners despite the fact that 9 of our new benchmark institutions provide them.
The inadequacy of some fringe benefits offered by UK can be quickly demonstrated by one simple example. UK has over 10,000 employees, but it has only enough slots in it early childhood center to serve 84 children.
When state or federal law mandates that UK extend a particular benefit to its employees, the institution consistently chooses to provide no more than the absolute minimum required by law. For example, if both spouses work at UK, they must share the federally mandated 12 weeks of family and medical leave available for the birth/adoption of a child. Many employers, however, opt to allow each spouse to take a full twelve weeks of such leave.
The original report revealed that UK did not stop the tenure clock of women faculty who gave birth during their probationary period. We recommended that UK stop imposing this penalty on women who chose to exercise their procreative potential before attaining tenure. UK did respond to our recommendation. But, once again the policy it adopted is, at best, inadequate.
If an untenured woman has a child during her 7 year probationary period and she takes six weeks of family medical leave, she may request 26-week extension of her tenure clock. However, if she takes an additional six weeks of family medical leave for the birth of a second child during her probationary period, she can not have another ½ year extension of her tenure clock. As my students might say - Go Figure.
In 1990, women were virtually absent from academic leadership positions and totally absent from high-level administrative positions. Immediately after the issuance of the original report, Dr. Juanita Fleming became the first woman to serve in the President's cabinet. However, ten years later there are only two women on the President's staff. There's no need to show you the other 7 organizational charts, because, as that old saying goes, "if you've seen one, you've seen them all."
A similar phenomenon continues to exist in academic leadership positions. 11 of the 16 colleges have not a single woman leading an academic unit. And despite the positive fact that the number of women deans has doubled in the last ten years from 2 to 4, they head only traditionally female colleges. No woman has ever served as dean of agriculture, law, engineering, arts and sciences, business or any of the colleges in the medical center except nursing.
The university did implement one of the principal recommendations of the 1990 Report to remedy the paucity of women in higher-level administrative positions. It established UKAdvance, a university-sponsored professional development program. Now in its tenth year, 180 professional staff women have participated in the program, and overwhelmingly record the experience as positive.
Both the original and current Committees recognize that climate/culture issues represent a very serious impediment to women's full and equal participation in the UK community. Such problems tend to be deeply rooted in both the individual and the institutional psyches, and do not lend themselves to quick solutions. Nonetheless, there are indicators of some improvement in the climate for UK women in the past decade.
For example, UK heeded the Committee's recommendation that it should fund educational and research initiatives concerning women and women's issues. On the Lexington Campus, monetary support of the Women's Studies Program increased during our ten year reporting period. And, a new Women's Health Center has been established in the Medical Center.
However, improvements in the climate seem to be idiosyncratic rather than systematic. And, the changes have occurred in isolated pockets within, rather than throughout, the UK community. For example, since the first report, approximately 10,000 staff, faculty and students of the Medical Center have completed mandatory sexual harassment training. But, there is no comparable program or requirement on the Lexington Campus.
The original report looked at who UK honored as one way of assessing the culture of this institution. Employing that same yardstick, we discovered areas which experienced virtually no improvement. From 1886 to 1990, 93% of all the honorary degrees awarded by UK were given to men. The percentage of women so honored did not increase appreciably in the last decade. And, although 66% of all full-time staff employees are women, 3 out of every 4 recipients of the Nestor Award for outstanding staff achievement have been men during the last ten years.
The 1990 Report was very critical of the overwhelmingly white male image UK projected of itself into the public arena. Women of color were almost never pictured as part of the University community. And, the women who did appear, were consistently portrayed as students, wives of UK employees, or holding the obligatory baby.
UK's current Great University Campaign is a noteworthy step in the right direction. The images that appear in print and on TV portray UK as a community of both women and men, who come in every color, and play a wide variety of roles. Candidly, the imagery outstrips the reality of our workplace, but it sets the standard by which UK should be measured.
Probably our most disturbing finding is that UK has failed almost totally to act on our recommendation that it put practices and policies in place to ensure continuous monitoring of its behavior relative to women employees. For example, the last university-wide analysis of salaries and wages for gender bias was conducted almost ten years ago. Although UK has the data to look at the intersection of race and sex, it chooses not do so despite the fact that the 1990 report thoroughly documented the double jeopardy confronting women of color. For example, UK's most recent Affirmative Action Plan reports data on race and on sex separately. Thus, it is impossible to know whether and how women of color are included.
Last time round, an actual hand tally had to be done to determine the number of women and men receiving Graduate School fellowship awards.
The good news is that the Graduate School now tracks that information. And, more importantly gender equity has been achieved in fellowships awarded through the Graduate School.
The bad news is that when we tried to assess the impact of the new Research Challenge Trust Fund monies by looking at the sex and race of the recipients, we, once again, had to resort to our own hand count. Because of the gendered nature of many first names, we were able to generate some data on the overall representation of women, but no analysis of the confluence of race and gender was possible. What we were able to determine is that 9 out of every 10 newly endowed chairs have been awarded thus far have gone to men.
As I said at the beginning, the Committee calls its newest report a "Blueprint for Gender Equity." While it documents both progress made and improvements needed, it is essentially a plan for building a more equitable future. At its very heart is a series of action steps the University must take if it is to move closer to achieving the gender equity that is essential to a truly great university.
Before I relinquish this podium to Susan who will highlight some of report's recommendations, I want to take a moment to tell you a few things about Dr. Scollay. We are gathered here today because of Susan. She possessed the leadership skills that created a cohesive committee out of many diverse individuals. She gave us the energy to stay together to complete our work. And, she had the vision to know how our findings should be presented. We owe her our thanks and our gratitude.
by Dr. Susan J. Scollay, Chair
As Carolyn indicated, the heart of the Committee's BLUEPRINT for the future is a series of action steps designed to bring UK closer to the achievement of true gender equity on campus.
Though there are not as many, these Action Steps are organized into the same five general areas of institutional activity as the 125+ recommendations put forth in the first report. And, I would like to take what time we have left today to highlight for you a few examples of the action steps The Ad Hoc Committee recommends UK take in each of them.
The first set of Action Steps concerns the provision of opportunities for entry & advancement in the UK workforce.
A great university demonstrates the seriousness of its commitment to gender equity by offering a full range of opportunities for women's participation & advancement in all segments & at all levels of institutional life.
To accomplish this, UK must take a variety of steps…One of the most critical is the establishment of a standing Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. This was a recommendation of the original report and subsequent experience bears out its wisdom…Organizational change comes when there is strong, consistent, & vocal support for it from the very top- And while this rhetorical commitment is necessary, it is not sufficient. Achievement of Lasting institutional improvement also requires ongoing activity at lower levels of the institution, enhanced with focused resources & staff support.
It is both ineffective and unfair to put a single administrative committee in charge of monitoring institutional behavior vis-à-vis all equity groups, but give it no resources with which to fulfill that responsibility.
The Presidential Commission we envision will be composed of staff, faculty and students who have interest & expertise in issues of gender equity and it will have staff support and a recurring budget. Its purpose will be to provide regular advice and counsel to the University President on issues, policies & practices that affect women on campus. It will maintain focused institutional attention on issues of gender equity by doing the kinds of investigation and data analysis that the Ad Hoc Committee & other campus groups have done periodically. But it will do so on a regular and continuing basis- And based on the results of its work, this Commission will make recommendations to the University President for actions to remedy problems it documents. In essence, this Commission will interject the issue of equality for women into the highest levels of institutional deliberations & decision making.
One of the first tasks of the Presidential Commission might well be to provide oversight for a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of the new staff personnel system. As Carolyn suggested, it appears that the new system has alleviated some of the grossest inequities of the old one, but others seem to remain. In particular, the Committee is very concerned about salary equity in the new system. We are already getting anecdotal information that the salary flexibility in the new system is being applied differentially to the detriment of women. Only a comprehensive assessment of the new system can determine if, in fact, it is making the work place more equitable for women staff employees.
Issues relating to equitable compensation are as important as opportunities for entry and advancement.
A truly great university provides just compensation and financial incentives to all employees regardless of sex, race, sexual orientation, family status, age, job type or position level. In essence, a great university is one that communicates to all groups of employees that they are valued and important And it does this through its compensation and benefit programs. To become great in this regard, UK must make several changes. Most basically, UK must adopt a philosophy that sincerely values all employees, including women. It can then communicate that value set through Institutional policies that treat all employees fairly, with generosity and compassion.
For example, to ensure fairness, the University should routinely conduct institution-wide compensation analyses and address and alleviate forthrightly, any gender biases that are discovered. Equally, UK must develop institutional policies that acknowledge and respect the varied individual responsibilities and needs within our large & complex employee community.
One specific example would be to provide a cafeteria-style benefit plan so that fringe benefits effectively address the particular situations and changing needs of UK employees at different stages of their lives - from sufficient access to child care that is both readily available and affordable for all employees through family-related benefits for domestic partners and pro rata benefits for permanent employees who work less than full time to a full range of elder care services.
Closely related to issues of employment and compensation are those of continuing professional development and promotion.
Clearly, a great university is one that provides expansive opportunities for job development and career enhancement for all its employees, including women. And a great university is one that provides wide ranging opportunities for all employees to participate in institutional decision making and assume leadership roles. To develop and promote its women employees equitably, UK must engage in a variety of new and different activities. For example, given that the majority of all UK employees are women, it is incumbent upon the University to ensure that all staff, administrative, and faculty supervisors are effective in the recruitment, retention and promotion of women. This means providing both the supervisor education required to develop the necessary skills and the evaluation necessary to ensure those skills are used effectively.
UK also has a responsibility to ensure its women employees are well prepared to advance into and up through institutional decision-making ranks and leadership levels. And once there, that they receive the ongoing professional development experiences necessary to enhance their leadership skills and thereby, their contributions to the institution.
Finally, UK must provide equitable opportunities for its women employees to develop, enhance and exercise their leadership skills. This includes ensuring that women are equitably represented and have leadership responsibilities on institutional policy-making bodies, committees, task forces, and the like. AND it means the establishment of a institution-wide, elected Staff Council as a partner to the university administration and the University Faculty Senate in UK's system of shared governance!
Carolyn noted that most of the changes over the last decade that the Committee was able to document Are limited to pockets of campus activity, isolated from the core of university endeavors, And do not address the more difficult, deeply seeded, entrenched elements of institutionalized sexism. No where is this truer than in the area of organizational culture and climate.
A great university fosters a climate of institutional support and respect for women that permeates all levels and segments of the organization.
To accomplish this, UK has much work remaining. To accomplish this, UK has much work remaining. For example, UK must assess and improve the campus climate for women students at all levels of study from entering undergraduates to the most advanced graduate and professional students. UK must recognize women's achievements and contributions equitably in all institutional honors and awards. UK must ensure balanced and unbiased portrayals of women in all university publications. And Institutional policies against sexism in all its various forms must be vigorously enforced.
Finally, Is the issue of institutional accountability and it is perhaps the most fundamental of all.
A great university is one that is keenly aware of its own behavior relative to the hiring, retention, promotion, and compensation of all employees, including women. Equally important, a great university holds institutional decision makers accountable for that behavior. And UK has much to do in this regard. At least three action steps are absolutely essential:
First, UK must conduct Gender Impact Assessments prior to implementing substantive institutional policy changes and new program initiatives. So that we are aware of the gender-related implications of potential institutional decisions before those decisions are made.
Second, and closely related, UK must make Gender Audits part of its routine self assessment. That is, it must collect, analyze AND disseminate widely all institutional data by sex, race and the intersection of the two. It is very simple: "What gets measured, gets done."
As long as we do not collect and/or do not analyze and disseminate the data, we do not know what we, as an institution, are doing or not doing relative to our rhetorical commitments to gender equity and fairness.
And finally, those who make the decisions -at all levels, from the lowest to the highest, must be held accountable for the gender-related implications of the decisions they make through annual merit reviews and biannual salary determinations. That is the only way to transform institutional rhetoric into routine organizational behavior. And that, in turn, is the only way UK will ever make substantive progress toward achieving true gender equity.
As we have suggested throughout this presentation, the current university media campaign illustrates UK's understanding of what a great university looks like and acts like. By implementing the ACTION STEPS I have just described and others offered by the Senate Council Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Women In its BLUEPRINT FOR GENDER EQUITY, UK can begin to realize the promise it makes in one of the most recent elements of that campaign:
Thank you very much for your attendance to day and your attention to this presentation of the 2001 Report on the Status of UK Women Employees - Check out the full report on the web!!