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GRACE PROJECT: Survey Results


The GRACE project conducted an on-line survey of faculty members in the College of Medicine meeting the following criteria as of July 1, 2000:

  • Primary appointment in one of the nineteen College of Medicine departments (including the Arizona Prevention Center)
  • >= 50% time, located in Tucson
  • Research, Tenure, and Clinical Suffix tracks only
  • Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors only

For more information on Survey Results - click here


The survey response rate was 48% (198 out of 412).

Respondents differed significantly from non-respondents in gender and degree but did not differ in rank and track:

  Survey Respondents (n) Non-respondents (n) P-Value
Total Number of Faculty 198 214
Male Faculty 66% (130) 77% (164) .01
Female Faculty 34% (68) 23% (50)
Tenure track 60% (120) 51% (110) Not significant
Clinical track 25% (49) 34% (72)
Research track 15% (29) 15% (32)
Assistant professor 37% (74) 42% (90) Not significant
Associate professor 26% (52) 23% (50)
Full professor 36% (72) 35% (74)
PhD 46% (91) 30% (64) .001
MD 54% (107) 70% (150)



A. Leadership Positions

There were no significant gender differences in:

  • aspiration to a leadership position (women - 61%, men - 57%)
  • importance of having a leadership position (1-5 scale, 5 as "very important": women - 3.0, men - 3.3)
  • perception that they had the qualities of a good leader (women - 91%, men - 95%)
  • willingness to take on time consuming tasks (1-6 scale, 6 as "very willing": women - 4.33, men - 4.55)
  • perception of being undermined in a leadership role (women - 42%, men - 44%)

However, women were significantly less likely to be asked to serve as a:

  • Committee chair (women - 48%, men - 68%; p<.006)
  • Section or division head (women - 12%, men - 45%; p<.00001)*
  • Department head (women - 6%, men 26%,; p<.0007)*

* When analyses were limited to associate and full professors, these differences remained statistically significant.

B. Power and Influence in Department

Women reported having significantly less power and influence in their departments. They were less likely to:

  • Feel they were effective in influencing departmental decisions (1-6 scale, 6 as "very effective": women - 3.6, men - 4.2, p<.01)
  • Have decision-making authority over promotion of colleagues (women - 27%, men - 48%; p<.005)
  • Have decision-making authority for allocation of non-grant related resources (women - 22%, men - 47%; p<.0006)*
  • Offer advice to the department chair (1-5 scale, 5 as "always": women - 2.7, men - 3.2, p<.001)*

* When analyses were limited to associate and full professors, differences remained statistically significant.

Summary:  Women are interested in and feel capable of taking on leadership roles. While they are asked to serve as committee chairs, they are rarely asked to lead in other capacities. They are less likely than men to have decision-making authority over promotion and resources. In general, women have less power and influence in COM than their male colleagues.

C. Career and Family Issues

Male and female faculty do not differ in:

  • Importance of career advancement (1-5 scale, 5 as "very important": women - 4.1, men - 4.2, p<.79)
  • Importance of balancing work with personal life (1-5 scale, 5 as "very important": women - 4.6, men - 4.5, p<.12)
  • Extent to which work and personal life conflict (1-6 scale, 6 as "always conflicts": women - 4.5, men - 4.6, p<.78)
  • Desire to work part-time (among full time faculty); though women are significantly more likely to be in part-time positions (women - 9.0%, men - 0.8%, p<.01)

Women were less likely to be willing to move for a better job (women - 57%, men - 71%; p<.05)

Women were significantly more likely to be employed at the COM as the result of a spouse/partner's hire (women - 19.3%, men - 1.7%; p<.0001). There were no gender differences in terms of whether assistance was provided to help the accompanying spouse find a job.

Summary:  Differences between women and men in their family commitments and the desire to balance career with family life are small.

D. Staff Support and Resources

There were no gender differences (either overall or when adjusted for rank) in perceptions of the difficulty in obtaining:

  • secretarial support (1-5 scale, 5 as "always difficult": women -2.9, men - 2.7, p<.22)
  • technical support (1-5 scale, 5 as "always difficult": women - 3.0, men - 3.0, p<.93)
  • support for clinical activities (1-5 scale, 5 as "always difficult": women - 2.9, men - 3.3, p<.08)
  • advice/reports on fiscal matters (1-5 scale, 5 as "always difficult": women - 2.8, men - 2.9, p<.66)
  • operating resources (1-5 scale, 5 as "always difficult": women - 3.3, men - 3.3, p<.80)

Summary:  Although both women and men find it moderately difficult to procure resources and support, there are no significant gender differences.

E. Physical Space

There were no gender differences in terms of:

  • whether office space was shared (women - 12%, men - 17%; p<.33)
  • the amount of effort it took to obtain non-grant supported office space (1-5 scale with 5 being "a great deal of effort": (women - 3.5, men - 3.4; p<.73 )
  • whether the faculty member felt they were given appropriate non-grant supported space (women - 71%, men - 66%; p<.44)

There were significant differences related to research space:

  • Women full professors were significantly more likely to share research space with other faculty (women - 73%, men - 40%; p<.05)
  • After adjusting for rank, women reported exerting significantly more effort to obtain non-grant supported research space (1-5 scale with 5 being "a great deal of effort": women - 4.4, men - 3.8; p<.02 )

Summary:  Women do not have greater difficulty obtaining office space, but they are more likely to share, and have more difficulty obtaining, research space.

F. Mentoring

There were no gender differences in the value placed on mentoring received (1-5 scale with 5 being 'very valuable': women - 3.8, men - 3.7; p<.66) or in whether mentoring had been received.

There were no gender differences in whether the department head was perceived as taking an interest in the respondent's career advancement (1-6 scale with 6 being 'always takes an interest': women - 4.0, men - 4.0; p<.82).

G. Promotion and Track Assignment

Women took longer to be promoted to associate professor (women - 6.5 yrs, men - 5.2 yrs; p<.01). This becomes borderline significant when adjusted for track and total publications (women - 6.0, men - 5.2, p<.09). However, there are no significant gender differences with regard to length of time as associate professor, after adjusting for degree, track and number of publications.

A greater proportion of women felt they did not know the requirements for being promoted (women - 13.4%, men - 4.3%; p<.05).

Women were significantly more likely to have considered changing tracks (women - 58%, men - 29%; p<.0001), particularly if they were on the tenure track (women - 46%, men - 9%; p<.00001).

There was no significant gender difference in delaying the tenure clock (women - 16%, men - 10%, p<.25).

Summary:  Promotion to higher ranks takes longer for women, and the tenure track as currently structured seems to carry particular challenges for women.

H. Treatment by Others

There were no gender differences in frequency of:

  • Colleagues/supervisors questioning one's expertise or authority
  • Being criticized by colleagues or supervisors on appearance or style of communication
  • Respectful treatment by staff

Women were less likely to feel like they "fit in" (women 72%, men 85%, p<.03).

Women were significantly less likely to feel they were given appropriate credit for their work (1-6 scale, 6 as "always": women - 4.2, men - 4.5; p<.06).

Women were significantly more likely to report that safety concerns had deterred them from working at certain times (women - 10.1%, men - 1.6%; p<.01), or in certain places (women - 11.6%, men - 4.7%; p<.07).

Summary:  Although there are few differences in treatment by colleagues, staff and supervisors, women are less likely to feel that they are given appropriate credit.

I. Gender Discrimination

Women were significantly more likely to state that their department treated men and women differently, either somewhat or to a great extent (women - 54%, men - 21%; p<.00001).

Women were significantly more likely to report they had been discriminated against (women - 32%, men - 5%; p<.00001).

None of the men and only 7% of the women who were discriminated against sought recourse.

More women than men felt that the COM responds inappropriately to charges of discrimination (women - 68%, men - 15%, p<.00001).

Summary:  The majority of women on the faculty at the COM feel their departments treat men and women differently. Almost one third of women reported being discriminated against, and most women question the response of the COM to charges of discrimination.

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Millennium Project
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  |  Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
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Updated: May 9, 2001 
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