Our goal is to understand and improve the climate for all women on campus. We do this by:
• Using multiple approaches to identify the current climate at UMD for women; this work is currently supported by the UMD IT-Catalyst Grant
• Networking (with events like the monthly Tea at the Tweed gatherings)
• Building bridges between faculty, staff and administration, and
• Exploring critical issues and innovative solutions that are being examined on other campuses
Some recent activities have included:
The Commission has held a series of gatherings for the campus community, using the World Café workshop model.
As a conversational process, the World Café is an innovative yet simple methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their life, work, or community. --http://www.theworldcafe.com/what.htm
The goal of holding Cafes at UMD was to catalyze conversations which generate ideas and increase communication across campus, to improve the overall campus climate for everyone.
Commission Cafe, May 2010
Previous Campus Café events were held in February 2009 and April 2008, and included participation from faculty and staff across campus. Results from all campus cafés’ can be found on the Women’s Commission website.
Increasing Women and Minorities in the STEM Fields
The Climate Committee was an active member in seeking funding from National Science Foundation for a grant to evaluate the climate for faculty women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields at UMD. The goal of the grant is to collect quantitative and qualitative data, and then to develop a plan specific for UMD to increase the number of women and minorities across the STEM fields. The Climate Committee continues to provide an advisory role to the grant, as requested.
The UMD IT-Catalyst grant, which began in Summer 2008 with full funding of $200,000, will continue through July 2011. Current efforts include: (1) quantitative data collection and analysis, (2) qualitative data collection and analysis including oral interviews of women STEM faculty, (3) researching best practices suited to UMD-specific issues, and (4) formulation of an individualized plan for institutional transformation of UMD.