The Advance Project

Enhancing the academic careers of women in science, technology, engineering, & mathematics

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Before: Composing the Search Committee


Why / Research Rationale

Diversify SC composition — at least in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, area of expertise or educational background, values or views, and social skills.


Include underrepresented faculty (persons of color or women either from within or outside the department) who have the seniority to speak freely and be heard by their peers (Smith, Turner, Osei-Kofi, & Richards, 2004).


Don’t put junior or underrepresented faculty in an untenable position on the search committee. Placing rank-vulnerable MFC in an indefensible position, such as an advocate for race equity, can highlight their own token status instead of allowing them to influence faculty recruitment.

To avoid similarity effects (Goldberg, 2005): White recruiters were more likely to favorably assess and make job offers to White applicants


To avoid workforce homogeneity and employment discrimination (Petersen & Dietz, 2005): Research participants instructed to maintain workforce homogeneity chose fewer applicants who were unlike them than those participants who did not receive such advice.


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