The 2020 book Building Gender Equity in the Academy: Institutional Strategies for Change, by Sandra Laursen and Ann E. Austin, is a resource MSU ADVANCE has used a lot in the past years. Its authors are experts in both STEM itself and issues of gender equity in STEM. Dr. Laursen is the co-director of Ethnography and Evaluation Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has worked with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Dr. Austin is dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University. She also works with the National Science Foundation. Both have impressive credentials in science, and this book speaks to their expertise.
Building Gender Equity proposes solutions for barriers to women in STEM. It brings up issues like implicit bias, exclusionary workplace climate, work-life conflict including issues with childcare, and lack of mentors for women. These barriers are built into the way STEM functions. They cannot be solved with quick fixes or individual training. The system itself is the problem. Strategies for change presented by the book include diverse hiring policies and implicit bias education combined with initiatives to diversify hiring pools. Support for dual-career couples is also stressed. Flexibility in work schedules for faculty with children was a major consideration. The book explores case studies of several universities which have used these policies. Each university has its own unique culture to consider when implementing the policies. This book is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in learning about gender equity in STEM. Anyone hoping to enact systemic change to promote equity would benefit from it.