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GRACE PROJECT: Objective and Hypotheses

To investigate causes of the disparity between male and female faculty in the College of Medicine (COM) in track assignment, promotion to higher ranks, and leadership positions, with the ultimate goal of identifying and implementing solutions to documented barriers.

This project examines the following reasons frequently suggested for why gender disparities exist. The hypotheses focus on differences between men and women in the areas of leadership, promotion and track assignment, and institutional barriers.

A. Leadership

1. Women are less willing to take on demanding, time consuming jobs.

2. Women are less qualified for leadership positions because:
     They lack the requisite skills and experience.
     They lack the personal qualities (assertiveness, drive, focus) that are
        necessary to lead in this environment.
     They devalue the qualities and behaviors (such as competition,
        hierarchical thinking) that are associated with leadership in the COM.

3. When women exhibit the required leadership qualities (assertiveness, drive, focus), they are criticized and/or undermined.

B. Promotion and track assignment

1. Women are less career-oriented, and/or less committed to their careers because of competing demands, such as family.

2. The distribution of women faculty in the COM is a direct reflection of the pool of qualified women available to be hired/promoted to each rank.

3. Career advice differs by gender. Women are more likely than men to be advised to take clinical positions, and are expected to perform more service (clinical, teaching).

4. Women value activities, such as clinical or other service, that are of lower priority for promotion.

C. Institutional barriers

1. Women have less (or later) access to resources, including space, mentoring, and contact with Department and College leadership.

2. Women are paid less and receive less credit for comparable achievements.

3. The system does not respond effectively to perceptions of discrimination.

GRACE Project HomepageGRACE Homepage

Millennium Project
Association of Women Faculty (AWF)
  |  Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
College of Medicine
  |  Arizona Health Sciences Center
The University of Arizona

Updated: May 9, 2001 
Copyright 2000 Arizona Board of Regents