North-Central Section - 57th Annual Meeting - 2023

Paper No. 10-10
Presentation Time: 4:30 PM


PETCOVIC, Heather, Geological and Environmental Sciences & Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University, 1903 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5241, BERTMAN, Steven, Institute of the Environment & Sustainability, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 and KORETSKY, Carla, College of Arts and Sciences, Western Michigan University, 1903 West Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

In order to develop a more diverse and inclusive science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) workforce, the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program funds projects that seek to address gender-based systemic inequities in academic culture and institutional structures. The Advocates and Allies program was developed as part of an ADVANCE award in 2008 to North Dakota State University and has since been adopted at dozens of institutions. The program has a unique focus on men faculty, leveraging the privilege, power, and capital that especially senior men faculty hold in academic institutions. Three key components make up the program: (1) Advocates are senior men faculty committed to educating themselves about issues of gender inequity and taking positive action to enact change in their departments and colleges; (2) Advocates develop and offer Ally training workshops to increase awareness of gender bias and personal strategies to reduce inequities among their men colleagues; and (3) Advocates and Allies maintain accountability through a formal advisory board made up of senior women faculty and administrators.

Western Michigan University (WMU) launched our Advocates and Allies program in spring 2022 as part of the ADVANCE Midwestern Partnership in collaboration with North Dakota State University, Iowa State University, and Michigan Technological University. STEM department chairs nominated men faculty who were then invited to participate in an initial Ally workshop. Four workshops, led by a trainer from North Dakota State University, were attended by about 30 men faculty. These participants were then invited to apply to become the core founding group of Advocates. Eight men faculty (two of whom serve as department chairs) attended an Advocate training workshop in fall 2022 led by facilitators from North Dakota State and Iowa State Universities. We are presently in the process of setting priorities and initiatives within the Advocates group and establishing the women faculty Advisory Board. This presentation will focus on “lessons learned” during the process of adopting the Advocates and Allies program at WMU.