Monday, April 06, 2009

Poster child

My university has a program to study and promote university-level activities relating to recruiting and retaining female faculty members in disciplines where they are in the minority at the faculty level. It's a fine little program, full of useful networking opportunities and interesting guest speakers.

They recently launched some kind of branding activity where they came up with a specific font and some slogans and graphics for all their flyers and so forth, and the header image for all their materials is a row of little photos of academic women doing professory things. They emailed me to ask if they could use a photo of me, since the university has some laying around from previous photo-worthy events. I don't mind. But when I eventually looked at the promotional materials I noticed that two of the six photos were of me, I'm just wearing a different shirt in each.

Now, really, are we so hard up for women faculty? Maybe it's supposed to be a hidden statement about why we need these programs ("Look, there are so few women faculty members we couldn't even find 6 different people that had been photographed.")

(It's not any kind of statement, though. When I pointed out to them that I'd been twice included, they were like, "Oh. I guess none of us really noticed when we were putting that together.")

Still, aren't they lucky that I was recently approved for promotion & tenure? How ironic would it have been if 2/3 of the women in the promotional photos had in fact not been retained?


Ms.PhD said...

Great post. I love that stuff.

I occasionally hear about these programs to recruit female faculty, but so far have not met anyone in my begging, pleading and perpetual yelling about how I want a faculty position... to actually offer to recruit me. Do these programs really exist? Or are they just called "recruit and retain" but all they really do is pretend to retain (and only do that just barely)?

Jennie said...

I was recently told that we need more pictures of me in the field for my companies web site because we don't have enough of women. My initial response was that the website was an accurate depiction of what the company was like but I kept that thought to myself and just said ok.

Unknown said...

Its really interesting...
Do these programs really exist? Or are they just called recruit and retain but all they really do is pretend to retain
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unknown said...

This post made me LOL.