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Over the past six years, the ISU ADVANCE Program has become Iowa State’s most prominent vehicle to recruit, retain, and advance women and women of color in STEM faculty positions. We are known for a well-managed network, innovative research, and an integrated approach to change. We have worked within departments using a Collaborative Transformation approach to improve the work environment for all faculty members. Our program has identified cultures, practices, and structures that enhance or hinder the careers of ISU faculty, and we have worked with faculty and administrators to transform university policies, practices, and academic culture in pursuit of a diverse and vibrant faculty in STEM disciplines. The ISU ADVANCE Program’s Comprehensive Institutional Intervention Strategy focused on four primary goals: 1. Overcome known barriers to women’s advancement across ISU STEM fields, focusing on transparency, isolation, mentoring, and career flexibility. 2. Overcome department-specific barriers to women’s advancement in STEM. 3. Increase overall participation and advancement of women faculty in senior and leadership ranks. 4. Institutionalize positive changes at the university level. The ISU ADVANCE Program included both “bottom up” and “top down” approaches. Our “bottom up” activities included department interventions that were part of the Collaborative Transformation project. We also engaged in “top down” activities that addressed policies and practices at the college and university levels. We sought to illuminate both subtle and overt impediments to equity, and to design strategies to dissolve impediments, thus transforming Iowa State University into an institution that facilitates retention and advancement of women and all underrepresented minorities. Our approach focused on transforming departmental cultures (views, attitudes, norms and shared beliefs), practices (what people say and do), and structures (physical and social arrangements), as well as university policies, through active participation of individuals at all levels of the university.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. SBE-0600399. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily refl ect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Iowa State University



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