Members will hear testimony on Title IX and science.
The Honorable Ron WydenUnited States SenatorOregon
“This afternoon the Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space convenes the third in a series of hearings on the subject of women studying and working in math, technology, engineering and the so-called hard sciences such as physics and chemistry. “Congress may not be able to legislate away the entrenched attitudes of the math and science establishment, that women are somehow second-class scholars in these fields. But as Chair of the Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, I’m determined to see the Title IX statute fully enforced to give women equal opportunity in science, engineering and math education. “As one of today’s witnesses knows, the enforcement of that common-sense rule has brought women much closer to parity – if not all the way – in high school and college sports. In my view, if Title IX can do that on the playing field it should certainly do so in the classroom, where its help was originally directed. Making sure that Title IX protects women in and out of the sports arena is more important now than ever before, as the Administration fires up a commission to review and possibly revise Title IX rules. “In June of this year, I laid down a new challenge in this Subcommittee. In this hearing room, I called on NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe to determine how his agency could help triple the number of women graduating and working in math, science, and technology. At a hearing in July, Dean Kristina Johnson of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering encouraged the enforcement of Title IX to ensure equal opportunity for women in math, science and engineering education. “Title IX states a simple principle. The entire statute reads: ‘No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.’ “The evidence of discrimination against women in math, science and engineering education is both empirical and anecdotal. The numbers will raise your eyebrows, but the stories should raise your hackles. Pregnant PhD students have been told they might as well give up their studies. According to the National Research Council, young women studying science and math are pushed into traditional female roles such as teaching, while their male counterparts receive almost all the research fellowships that pay more completely for graduate school. “Without a research background, women are less likely to obtain tenure-track faculty positions. They earn less money and lose the chance to encourage more young women. And the discrimination doesn’t stop with students; full professors who happen to be women tell stories of losing their lab space to associate professors who are male. “The consequences of this systematic discrimination are immediately visible for women, and more subtly damaging to our country as a whole. The Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security warned that America's failure to invest in science and to reform math and science education is the second biggest threat to our national security. Only the threat of a weapon of mass destruction in an American city is a greater danger. Yet in essence, 51 percent of the population is being actively discouraged from entering these fields that desperately need new experts and practitioners. “Last week the Commerce Committee approved an amendment I offered with Senator Cleland. The amendment calls for a 10-year retrospective report on NSF programs to promote participation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering. This week, I will offer another amendment to the NSF authorization bill. I want the National Academy of Sciences to report on how universities support their math, science and engineering faculty with respect to Title IX. This can cover hiring, promotion, tenure, even allocation of lab space. “The Federal government should share some of the spotlight. I will request that the Academy’s report also detail how many Federal grants for scientific research are given to men and women and why. It’s time Congress quantified and qualified the realities facing women in the sciences. Only then can we find fully effective solutions.”
Witness Panel 1
Mr C. Todd Jones
Good afternoon. Thank you Chairman Wyden for that introduction. I thank the Chairman and all members of this Subcommittee for the opportunity to testify before you today because it gives me the opportunity to discuss one of the most important civil rights laws in our nation's history: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. As you know, we just celebrated the 30th anniversary of this landmark legislation. Without a doubt, Title IX has opened the doors of opportunity for generations of women and girls to compete, to achieve, and to pursue their American dreams. I am actually too young to remember personally what schools were like prior to 1972 when Title IX first prohibited schools that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex. Back then, it was not uncommon for high school girls to be "steered" to courses that narrowed their future options. High schools routinely excluded girls from classes that stood to give them the skills to compete for higher paying jobs. Mr. Chairman, you asked me to speak today about Title IX and the sciences—increasing the number of women pursuing degrees and careers in math, engineering, and the hard sciences. Fortunately, I am here to deliver good news. Society and education have changed since Title IX was passed, and Title IX played an important part. Title IX has contributed to the progress made by girls enrolled in high school math and science classes. Boys and young men previously dominated these fields to the extent that only an exceptionally gifted and talented female was thought able to take advanced math or science courses. Today, both male and female high school students are making strides in math and science. By 1999, nearly half of the finalists in the Intel Corporation and Science Service (the competition formerly known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search) were girls. In 1999, 2000, and 2001, the winners of Intel’s largest scholarship were high school girls. Today, the majority of college students are women. And many are entering professions that once eluded them in the sciences: · In 1972, only 9% of medical degrees went to women—as compared to nearly 43% in 2000. · Also in 1972 only 1% of dental degrees went to women—as compared to 40% two years ago. · The percentage of computer science graduates who were women doubled from 14% in 1972 to 27% in 1997. · The percentage of engineering graduates who were women rose from 1% in 1971 to 17% in 1997. · Among physical science majors, the proportion of women graduates was 15% in 1972 and rose to 37% in 1997. · Half of all zoology graduates were women in 1997, versus 22% in 1972. OCR has supported this progress in part through conducting compliance reviews that focus on specific systemic problems. For example, beginning in 1994, OCR conducted fifteen broad-based compliance reviews that examined whether high schools and higher education institutions were discriminating against girls and women in math and science programs. But, there are still areas for improvement. As a society, we must continue to avoid steering girls away from math and science and continue to meet their developing interest in these areas. But unquestionably, this country has changed, and Title IX deserves to share the credit. Mr. Chairman, this month OCR will release a new document entitled “Title IX: Thirty Years Later.” Many of these statistics are drawn from that publication, and while it has not returned from the printer yet, I have brought some bound versions of the page proofs for your review. Thank You. I will be happy to take your questions.
Dr. April S. Brown
Senator Wyden, members of the Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, and congressional staff, I am pleased and honored to have the opportunity to share my perspective with you today on how we can take important steps to remove a formidable threat to our future: the declining number of engineers and scientists. Our opportunity today is to consider how we can apply an existing law, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, to increase the number of women engineers and scientists. This panel has already heard compelling testimony that describes how the shrinking pool of scientists threatens our national security, including a citation of the Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security to 2025, which warned that America’s failure to invest in science and to reform math and science education was the second biggest threat to our national security; and NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe’s revelation that NASA’s current over-60 workforce is three times larger than its under-30 workforce. I know you are well aware of the barriers to success women and girls face in scientific and technological careers from your previous work on this Committee, so I will focus today on the opportunity provided by Title IX to eliminate them. Though its most visible success has been in athletics, Title IX is an education law, not a sports law. Universities and governmental funding agencies can apply Title IX toward bringing more women into careers in science and engineering. The resulting pool of scientists and engineers will be larger and more diverse, which means we as a nation will be better prepared for the technological challenges our future will bring. I am a professor in the field of electrical and computer engineering. Like many other women engineers, I considered engineering as a career because I had an engineer -- my father -- in the family. We must reach a point in this country where we do not have to rely on family members to interest girls in engineering, and where we are committed as a society to the participation of girls and women in engineering. We must develop role models -- successful and visible women engineers in academia, industry, and the government. Role models show young women that they, too, can do it! Role models are especially critical at educational transitions from high school to college and then on to graduate school. It is during these transitions that we lose many women on the journey to full and successful careers in engineering and science. Reasons why we lose many would-be engineers include inadequate math and science preparation in K-12 education, the poor public understanding of engineering, and the traditional delivery of engineering education, but my specific focus is on the success of women engineers in the academy. They are the role models and shapers of education and research. Their experience starts in graduate school – the initial training ground of our future professoriate. We must increase the number of women faculty members in science and engineering to increase the number of women engineers and scientists in the workforce. Less than 10% of engineering faculty members are women. My field, electrical and computer engineering, is the most rapidly growing engineering discipline. Yet in ECE, only 7% of the professoriate are women. Even the engineering programs with the highest percentages of female faculty in the country have less than 30% women. Women science and engineering faculty members are necessary for an excellent engineering education. William Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering, identified diversity as a key imperative for an agenda for change in his article “A Makeover for Engineering Education,” in the journal Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2002. He states, “Our creative field is deprived of a broad spectrum of life experiences that bear directly on good engineering design.” He’s saying that engineering is about solving problems, and the more viewpoints that examine a problem, the better the chances of solving it. The undergraduate and graduate educational experience shapes our future engineers and scientists. A diverse faculty offers a much richer educational and research experience to these students. Women students are drawn to women faculty and seek them out. Studies have shown that women faculty members are the primary research advisors to a larger number of female students than men (Mary Frank Fox, in Equal Rites, Unequal Outcomes: Women in American Research Universities, edited by L. Hornig. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2002). Many women are lost along the way if they cannot identify and relate to a teacher for guidance toward a successful career. My own experience bears this out. I joined a graduate research group at Cornell University led by Professor Lester Eastman, who actively sought out female students -- a rare occurrence at the time. I worked most closely with other women in my group. When I took my place on the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994, female students sought me out. My first two Ph.D. students were women: Dr. Carrie Carter-Comen and Dr. Georgiana Dagnall. Understanding the Barriers to Women Scientists and Engineers in the Academy Women graduate students and engineers in the professoriate have different experiences from men. The MIT Study on the Status of Women in Sciences made headlines in 1999 when the university unveiled its self-assessment showing that women received a smaller share of important resources: space, start-up research funding, etc. in comparison to men. In 1998, I co-chaired the Task Force on Opportunities for Women in Engineering at Georgia Tech that showed that women are significantly concerned about the balance of work and family. Just last week, the University of Michigan unveiled its climate study on women faculty in science and engineering. Studies have shown that women have less access to important resources than men. Women report fewer mentors than men. Women have fewer graduate students than men. Women serve on more committees than men, yet they do not chair committees as often as men. Research done by Mary Frank Fox, a sociologist at Georgia Tech, shows that engineers and scientists must be part of social networks for success in their fields. Developing collaborations, attracting the best graduate students to their laboratories, receiving guidance through mentors, and being asked to serve on important conference committees are critical to career success and happen through social interactions. The environment is created by the interplay of social processes and organizational policies and practices, such as ways in which people are evaluated and rewarded. They cannot be separated from each other. Professor Virginia Valian, a psychologist at Hunter College, shows in her recent book Why So Slow: the Advancement of Women that despite general gains we have made in understanding the personal and social ills created by discrimination, day-to-day decisions that impact people are often unconsciously made on the basis of generalizations, or schemas. These schemas, still supported by media images, tell us that engineering remains a “masculine” profession, and women are less likely than men to attain success in science and engineering. Women find themselves disadvantaged by the cumulative effects of a succession of decisions based on these schemas that place more resources in the hands of their male colleague down the hall. Organizational practices and policies are just as critical. One example is the tenure and promotion process that faces all tenure-track faculty members. For most of us, tenure is more about continuing on in our positions, than about a lifetime job guarantee. Tenure is granted to the successful faculty member by an in-depth evaluation of his or her research and educational contributions by peer faculty committees. Gender schemas obviously come into play in this process. Tenure decisions are made approximately seven years after entry into the professoriate at the assistant professor rank. The model for evaluation assumes a trajectory for career success after attaining the Ph.D. that does not take into account that this is also the prime time for having children and starting families. Research by Dean Sue Rosser at Georgia Tech (Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, vol. 8, pp. 163-191, 2002) shows that balancing a career and family is, in fact, the most significant challenge facing women engineers and scientists today. I was personally quite taken by the real impact the timing of tenure and promotion has on people when I moved from industry to the academy. I had my first child after earning my Ph.D. and while working at Hughes Research Laboratories. When I joined Georgia Tech one year later as an associate professor, I learned that many women feel they must forgo childbirth and rearing until after tenure. Since tenure often is awarded in a person’s early to mid-thirties, peak fertility is bypassed. This is an incredible disincentive to women in the academy. How can we use Title IX to help Title IX’s regulations require institutions that receive federal funding to provide equitable athletic opportunities for all students, regardless of sex, in three separate areas: participation, treatment of athletes, and athletic scholarships. But Title IX does not just apply to athletics. The law states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” During the past 30 years, Title IX has created tremendous changes in athletics. Now is the time to use its power for engineering and sciences, with the hope that the results will be as dramatic. Universities must comply with Title IX to receive federal funding. The government can and should do more to ensure compliance in the specific area of educational opportunities for women in science and engineering. First, since graduate programs across the nation are the primary training ground for the professoriate of the future, universities could be required under Title IX to create more institutional graduate support (scholarships) for women graduate students. Successful recruiting and retention of women in graduate school creates the new faculty members we need to attract more women undergraduates to science and engineering. Second, engineering programs can and should do more to ensure that their female faculty members -- and students -- have an equitable share of the resources provided by the institution. Title IX can be used to ensure that both financial aid and research support are equitably distributed among graduate students. Third, university leaders must be accountable for the work environment they steward. They can be held accountable under Title IX’s provision of continuous improvement of the environment for women, and there are many approaches for doing that for both students and faculty members. For faculty, these include better work-family policies, including tenure clock extensions. For students, these include supporting mentoring opportunities, such as Women in Engineering programs. Federal funding is critical to science and engineering, and we must ensure that women principal investigators are well represented in funding agencies’ research and education portfolios. The NSF has been proactive in its goal to support more women scientists and engineers through specific programs. One such program, ADVANCE, supports not only individual women, but activities that lead to institutional change. This program may prove to be a model for the type of organizational change we need in the academy. Conclusion Dedicated leadership clearly leads to great positive change. One reason for my move from Georgia Tech to Duke University was the representation of women leaders in the highest positions at Duke: Dean Kristina Johnson at the Pratt School of Engineering and President Nan Keohane. President Keohane has spearheaded a campus-wide initiative on the status of women at Duke. Through Dean Johnson’s leadership, more than half of the faculty members hired in the Pratt School this past year are women. The growth of women faculty members in the Pratt School will profoundly affect the environment for women faculty members and students alike. As the mother of two boys that I hope will someday consider becoming engineers, I fully believe that these changes will benefit them as well as their female friends.
Dr. Geraldine L. Richmond
Click here for the testimony of Dr. Richmond
Ms. Marcia Greenberger
Click here for a pdf format of Ms. Greenberger's testimony (includes footnotes)I am Marcia Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center. Thank you for the invitation to appear before you today to discuss the applicability of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) to opening up opportunities for women interested in pursuing degrees and careers in mathematics, engineering and the hard sciences. We are especially pleased to have this opportunity because this year is the law’s 30th anniversary. While much progress has been made in the last three decades, much remains to be done to ensure that women have equal access and opportunities in all areas of education. The Center is a non-profit organization that has worked since 1972 to advance and protect the legal rights of women and girls across the country. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families, including education, employment, health and reproductive rights, and economic security – with particular attention paid to the concerns of low-income women. Founded in the year that Title IX was passed, the Center has devoted much of its resources to ensuring that the promise of Title IX becomes a reality in all aspects of education. Title IX was enacted in 1972 as a broad proscription against discrimination in any federally funded education program or activity. It states simply: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Title IX applies to most elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities. It also applies to programs and activities affiliated with schools that receive federal funds. It was intended to ensure equal opportunity for women and girls in all aspects of education – from access to higher education, to equal opportunities and fair treatment in elementary and secondary classrooms, to equal opportunities in athletics programs. In passing Title IX, Congress recognized that it is through education that women have the means to a better economic future for themselves and their families. Congress’ vision has borne fruit: thirty years after enactment of the law, we have more women doctors and lawyers, as well as women athletes winning medals and trophies – all of whom help defy gender stereotypes about the interests and abilities of women and girls. I. Women and Girls are Underrepresented in Math, Science, Engineering and Technology. Despite this progress, women remain underrepresented in the traditionally male fields of math, science and engineering. Gender disparities in math and science start small and grow as students advance in school, with boys outperforming girls on standardized tests and participating in math and science classes at higher rates in high schools, and men majoring in math and science at higher rates than women at the post-secondary level. Similarly, at both the high school and post-secondary levels, female students are less likely than their male counterparts to receive training in computers and technology beyond the traditionally female areas of word processing or data entry. This underrepresentation is particularly problematic at this time in our history, when proficiency in science, math and the information sciences is critical to jobs in a technological society. While women have made remarkable progress in pursuing college degrees, they are still underrepresented in the areas of math, science and engineering -- underrepresentation that grows larger at the master’s and doctorate degree levels. In fact, the only science in which women receive bachelors’ degrees in rough proportion to their presence in the student body is the biological /life sciences, where women receive 58% of bachelor’s degrees and 55% of master’s degrees. But even in this field, women lose their majority to men at the doctorate level, with women receiving only 44% of doctorate degrees. And in other fields, the news about women’s participation is worse. For example: · In mathematics and physical sciences women are working towards parity with men at the bachelor level where women receive 47% of bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and 40% of bachelor’s degrees in physical sciences. However, women are awarded only 25% of doctorate degrees in each of these areas. · In computer and information sciences, there is actually a downward trend. The number of women receiving bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences reached a high of 37% in 1984, but dropped to 28% in 1999-2000. · The most disturbing disparity lies in engineering, where women receive only 18% of bachelor’s degrees, 21% of master’s degrees, and 15% of doctorate degrees. (See attached chart.) These disparities in the student body are mirrored by similar gender disparities in the employment of female professors in math, science and engineering. For example, in engineering, women are only 8.9% of tenured or tenure-track faculty, and only 4.4% of full professors. They are only 25% of the full-time instructional faculty in natural sciences. (See attached chart.) As Representative Patsy Mink stated in 1971, “discrimination against women in higher education is one of the most damaging forms of prejudice in our Nation for it deprives a high proportion of our people of the opportunity for equal employment and equal participation in national leadership.” Moreover, while girls the gender gap is narrowing in mathematics and science at the high school level, girls continue to lag behind their male counterparts in several key areas. For example: · Girls score 35 points below boys on the math portion of the SAT. · Across all racial and ethnic groups, males are more likely than females to attain high scores on the AP biology examination and the AP calculus examination. · In 1997, girls comprised only 37% of students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) computer science classes across the nation, and in twelve states comprised less than 20% of the students. · Girls are less likely than boys to take math courses beyond algebra II, and boys far outnumber girls in physics and computer classes. II. This Underrepresentation has Significant Consequences for Women. The gender disparities in math, science, engineering and technology have a deep impact on the earning power and career prospects of women. For example: · Women employed in science are most likely to work in natural sciences, where they comprise 35% of the workforce. The annual mean income for natural sciences occupations is $47,790. This is significantly less than the annual mean income for computer and math occupations -- $58,050 -- or for engineering (including architecture) occupations, $54,060. Women comprise only 30% of the computer and math workforce and a meager 11% of the engineering workforce. · Even where women and men have attained the same degree level, salary differentials persist. Women with a bachelor’s degree in an area of science or engineering, earn 35% less than similarly situated men, and those with a doctorate degree earn 26% less than their male peers. · The gap between the median annual salaries of men and women in science and engineering occupations has increased over time; in 1999, women earned an average of $14,000 less than their male counterparts, compared to $10,000 less in 1993.(See attached chart.) Indeed, a 1997 report issued by the U.S. Department of Education noted several trends that inhibit educational and career opportunities for women, including women’s lower number of degrees in computer science, engineering, physical science, and math compared with men, and the underrepresentation of women in jobs in scientific fields. III. Women and Girls in Math, Science, Engineering and Technology Face Persistent Barriers. This pattern of underrepresentation at both the secondary and post-secondary levels of education is directly linked to the continuing barriers that female students face in these programs. For example, a recent study found that 71% of male teachers believed that male students were more interested in the mechanics of computer technology, and were more likely to attribute boys’ success in technology to talent while dismissing girls’ success as due to luck or diligence. And deficient career counseling in secondary schools has been found to reduce women’s entry into science and engineering at the university level. Additionally, some research has demonstrated that in post-secondary programs, female students transfer out of science, engineering and technology-related majors more often than their male counterparts, in part due to experiences of gender bias and low faculty expectations. Further, many of our young women do not enjoy equal access to math, science or technology-related opportunities because of decisions made by their education systems about the placement of such opportunities. For example, an investigation conducted by the National Women’s Law Center into educational opportunities for female students in New York City’s vocational and technical high schools found that none of the four predominantly female vocational schools offer any AP courses in Calculus, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Computer Science, although such courses are provided at the predominantly male vocational schools. According to our calculations, approximately 67% of male vocational students, but only 35% of female vocational students, attend a school that offers at least one math or science AP course. Similarly, the New York City Board of Education has implemented Cisco Networking Academies, which lead to industry certification in computer networking, at some of the vocational high schools, but has not placed this program in any of the predominantly female schools. Thus, a 2000 report of the United States Commission on Civil Rights found that “[t]hrough lack of counseling; stereotypical socialization; discouragement; less aggressive inclusion of parents in designing programs; gender-biased teaching styles, resources, and testing; and other barriers, girls are steered from math, science, engineering, and other technical fields.” Similarly, the Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology Development concluded that same year that “[a]ctive discouragement … contribute[s] to girls’ lack of interest in [science, engineering and technology] careers.” Women faculty members also face barriers at their institutions. A recent study on the status of female professors in science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) drew national attention when the university publicly acknowledged discrimination against women faculty. In 1994, tenured women faculty in the School of Science at MIT formed a committee to investigate whether their individual experiences of veiled discrimination represented a broader framework of inequality. The committee’s report relied upon and analyzed data and interviews conducted with women faculty and department heads. The report found that tenured women faced “patterns of difference,” evidenced by consistently lower salaries than their male peers, unequal access to resources and persistent exclusion from any substantive power at MIT. The report also revealed a correlation between these “patterns of difference” and the tenured women’s consistent reports of feeling excluded, disempowered, “invisible” and “marginalized” within their departments as their careers progressed. According to the report, “as of 1999, there ha[d] never been a woman department head, associate head, or center director in the School of Science in the history of MIT.” Unfortunately, despite evidence of the very real barriers that women and girls continue to face in these fields, gender stereotyped arguments about the abilities and interest of women and girls persist. Allegations continue to be made today, for example, that males outnumber females in doctoral degrees in fields such as physics and engineering because their spatial and mechanical aptitudes are superior to those of women, and that sex hormones are the cause of these differences between males and females. These types of arguments have also been made repeatedly in an effort to deny women equal athletics opportunities, where critics of Title IX have asserted that women are less interested in sports than men. However, as Congress and the courts have consistently recognized, Title IX was enacted in order to remedy discrimination that results from stereotyped notions of women’s interests and abilities and the law must be vigorously enforced to eradicate those discriminatory assumptions. IV. Title IX Enforcement is Critical to Eliminating Barriers. As this information demonstrates, vigorous enforcement of Title IX is necessary to ensure that discrimination on the basis of sex is stamped out. The Title IX regulations, promulgated in 1975, require federally funded education programs to take a variety of steps to prevent and address sex discrimination. In particular, education programs may not discriminate in recruiting, counseling, admissions or treatment of students. For example: · Programs must ensure that counseling is not discriminatory and does not steer female students away from non-traditional areas, such as math and science. · Programs must designate an employee to ensure Title IX compliance and to investigate complaints of sex discrimination. · Programs must implement and disseminate a written policy prohibiting sex discrimination, with a process for filing grievances. Importantly, the Title IX regulations require that if a program finds that a particular class is disproportionately male or female, that program must make sure that this is not the result of sex-biased counseling or the use of discriminatory counseling or appraisal materials. Thus, math, science, engineering and technology-related programs have an affirmative obligation to review their own practices and remedy discriminatory practices that lead to underrepresentation of women in these areas. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is recognized as the primary enforcement agency under Title IX. However, OCR has a mixed record on Title IX compliance and enforcement activities relating to women and girls in math and science education. For example, a recent review of OCR’s activities indicated that few of OCR’s Title IX cases have evaluated female students’ access to and participation in science and math. Moreover, it is unclear whether OCR is providing adequate technical assistance in this area. In April 1996, OCR released a “promising practices” document regarding access for women and minorities to math and science programs, to help school districts with an underrepresentation problem devise ways to ensure equal educational opportunity. It is unclear whether OCR continues to make this document available to education programs today as it conducts technical assistance, or whether the underrepresentation of women and girls in math, science, engineering or technology programs is a priority issue for the office. With its enforcement powers, OCR can effect great changes, but this requires resources and a greater commitment to enforce Title IX in all areas of education. Compliance reviews and other enforcement measures are needed to ensure that schools and programs are meeting their obligations under the law. In fact, OCR could be asked to undertake compliance reviews to determine the causes for women’s lower participation in math and science, which decreases even more at the post-secondary level, and to take action to eliminate all forms of sex discrimination. Indeed, in a related area, in June 2002, the Center filed 12 Petitions for Compliance Review with each of the regional offices of OCR, requesting full investigations of the sex segregation in high school vocational and technical programs in specific states. It is our hope that OCR will conduct full investigations and remedy any discrimination that has resulted in barriers to full educational opportunity for young women in these programs. Similar requests for compliance reviews of math, science, engineering and technology programs could generate beneficial results. In addition to proactive compliance reviews conducted by OCR, any student or interested group may file a Title IX complaint with the federal government to challenge discrimination in math, science and engineering programs. Individuals whose rights under Title IX have been violated may also be able to bring a federal lawsuit against the education program or institution. Conclusion While there has been progress made over the last 30 years under Title IX, many battles still must be fought to eradicate sex discrimination in education and enable women and girls to realize their full potential. Women and girls continue to face unacceptable barriers in the non-traditional fields of math, science, engineering and technology. These barriers must be eliminated, and strong enforcement of Title IX is necessary to open up the door to equal educational opportunity. After 30 years of this important law, we still fall short of the educational landscape that the late Representative Edith Green and former Senator Birch Bayh envisioned when they sponsored Title IX – namely, complete elimination of the “corrosive and unjustified discrimination against women” in education. As long as math, science, engineering and technology remain hostile fields for women, we will not have realized Title IX’s promise. We must recommit ourselves today to making the letter and the spirit of the Title IX law a reality across all areas of education. Thank you very much.
Click here for chart used in Ms. Greenberger's testimony
Coach Margret Murphy
Digit Murphy Testimony Head Coach Brown University Women’s Hockey Team Before the Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in regard to Title IX and Opportunities for Women in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering October 3, 2002 You might be wondering what a college ice hockey coach has to say about educational opportunities for girls in math and technology. Let me begin by letting you know that a hockey puck travels 60 miles per hour because of the torque applied to the stick which in turn creates a force on the puck and transfers momentum. Seriously, the world of sport used to look like the world of math and technology – all boys and no girls. Today, 42% of all high school and college athletes are female. And it is interesting to note that there has been an 847% increase in girls participating in high school athletics since 1972. But participating on the field, in the pool, or on the ice is only one part of the story. There are huge benefits associated with athletics that go beyond the X’S AND O’S! Research studies show that girls who play sports enjoy greater physical and emotional health and are less likely to engage in a host of risky behaviors (ie. drug use, smoking, drinking) than non-participants.1 As a girls’ ice hockey player growing up in RI, I was an anomaly. Girls simply didn’t play ice hockey. Boys did. The only time that it was acceptable for girls to be on the ice at that time was to be a figure skater. It was difficult to grow up with the stigma that you did not engage in “normal” girls’ sports like field hockey or softball. But the opportunity that ice hockey provided me: to be “recruited” by an Ivy League school made it ultimately worthwhile. As a collegiate athlete at Cornell University from 1979-1983, the team that I played on traveled in vans, stayed four players to a hotel room, had minimum per diem for meals, our equipment was self provided, our ice time was what the men’s team didn’t want, and our head coach was paid little more than a volunteer. Recruiting budgets were what our coach could pay out of his own pocket, and administrative help was minimal. Strides have certainly been made in all areas of our sport. Unfortunately, we had to wait until 1995 after Cohen v. Brown for Title IX to be enforced at my institution. Presently, our student athletes at Brown enjoy vastly different conditions than I did in 1979. Today’s budgets are adequately funded in regard to team transportation, lodging, per diem, equipment, scheduling, facilities, ice time, and recruiting. We have three full time coaches—myself and two assistants. These conditions of equitable treatment for women’s hockey players can be seen throughout all NCAA programs in the country. The number of institutions sponsoring women’s hockey has grown from 9 collegiate teams in 1981 to 71 teams today. Collegiate participation in women’s hockey has grown 392%2 Grass roots development of girls playing hockey in both the US and Canada has also grown as a result of Title IX and it’s trickle down effect. In the US, the number of girls playing hockey has grown from 6,336 in 1990 to 39,693 in 20013. The Olympic movement for women’s hockey was equally a beneficiary of Title IX. With so many women playing our sport, the pool of Olympians has grown substantially. I’m sure that you all remember the first ever gold medal won in women’s hockey in 1998 by the United States. There might be lessons to be learned from our experiences in fighting for gender equality in a previously all-male sport environment: 1. Because the media is interested in sport, they produced “report cards” comparing men’s and women’s sports benefits and numbers. When these report cards made the educational institution look bad, change happened. Public embarrassment has a way of persuading schools they had better get their acts together. Congress added the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act in the late ‘90s to make sure the report cards were issued in a public way and now critical participation and expenditure data on college athletics is available on the web and used by the press to remind schools of their obligations to comply. So, my first recommendation is to require regular reporting of critical indicators on the status of girls and women in math and technology. 2. The second reason why sport has advanced more so than other Title IX areas is because there were many lawsuits brought by parents. I lived through one at Brown. Let me tell you it was not pretty. To be employed at an institution that is so completely committed to the equitable treatment of our students on all fronts, and have the ultimate test of equity in athletics challenged and interpreted pitted the male population against the female population. To this day there are lasting implications of the lawsuit. Lawsuits are not good. They put parents, kids and educational institutions at each other’s throats rather than looking for solutions. The Office of Civil Rights must do a better job enforcing the law. These types of situations should not continue to exist. 3. The third and most important reason why Title IX was a success (there is more to be done however) is because the newspapers, always preoccupied with controversy in sports, served as an effective mechanism for educating the American public. When parents understood their daughter’s rights, they used the mechanisms of civic engagement – from holding school boards accountable to bring lawsuits – to make the educational institution responsive. We must require our schools to educate students and their parents about Title IX. Unfortunately, math and technology aren’t sexy enough to get free press. But as the parent of a 7 year old girl, I firmly believe that if parents were more informed of the opportunities or lack thereof for their daughters in math and science, they would be as vocal and engaged as they are in their quest for equality in athletics. 4. In athletics we learned that it is really the intangibles that count. At Brown, our philosophy statement calls for the development of the total person. We focus on the process of being a team, and not the end result. Our athletes learn the values of teamwork, cooperative learning, discipline, personal responsibility, and commitment. These are the life lessons that we teach through athletics that help our athletes when they continue on to their careers. Teachers encourage girls to play, showing up for their games and celebrating their victories. Teachers and administrators must inspire, encourage and motivate young girls in the same way that they inspire, encourage and motivate young boys. We cannot allow educators to succumb to stereotypical beliefs about boys being more interested in math and science than girls. Stereotyping has a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. We cannot allow this to happen to our children. On a final note, I would like to convey the immediacy of this topic with the recent appointment of the Commission on Title IX by the Bush administration. If Title IX is weakened, it will not only have a profound impact on athletics but will send a clear message that maintaining and progressing opportunities for our daughters in all program areas is not a priority. I would like to close by conveying the message that, girls hit hockey pucks, girls are great mathematicians, girls check and girls love technology. If you create environments that send such messages to girls, they will come. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. I welcome any questions.
The Honorable Birch Bayh
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to share some thoughts with you this afternoon on a subject which is near and dear to my heart. It is a tribute to the entire committee that you recognize the subject of discrimination against women in those highly skilled areas of mathematics, engineering and the hard sciences as one of the most critical remaining vestiges of discrimination. In the high tech world in which we are living, we as a country cannot tolerate the underutilization of more than half of our population which happens to be women. To compete in today’s world America must fully utilize all of its resources and we are far from meeting this goal in the education areas which are the subject of this hearing. To put it into today’s terms, it is like telling the Arizona Diamondbacks that Randy Johnson and the New York Yankees that Roger Clemens will not be permitted to pitch in the early stages of the trip toward the World Series. Discrimination against women is to a great extent an unconscious, yet insidious fact of today’s life. Most of our society does not realize that it exists. That makes the public awareness potential of your hearing extremely valuable. When I became involved with discrimination against women in a very personal way, I was blessed to have an Oklahoma wheat farmer’s daughter as my bride. Marvella was an outstanding human being, extremely intelligent, and recognized with many honors at the tender age of 18, whose dream was to become a student at the University of Virginia. Upon application she was informed that girls need not apply. She provided me with a masters degree in awareness of how discrimination affected the lives of our women for the next 26½ years. I am presently blessed by my wife, Kitty, who has been providing me with a Ph.D. degree in awareness of how American women are treated in business and corporate society. To get a complete and alarming view of discrimination and its effects on our families and their standard of living, on the relationship between husbands and wives, and the consequent drain on our society’s well-being, I highly recommend Ann Crittenden’s The Price of Motherhood. It presents a truly frightening picture as far as equality is concerned. This committee is dealing with a critical and perhaps least-known element of this hurdle in our efforts to see that all American citizens are treated equally, and that America realizes its full potential. The other witnesses on the panel are extremely well qualified to assist in your efforts. For a statistical analysis of this problem, I suggest that after reading my friend and colleague Marcia Greenberger’s statement, you take it home and put it under your pillow at night. Ms. Greenberger and the National Women’s Law Center have over the years served as modern-day Paul Reveres, or should I say Abigail Reveres, with a message of “Wake up, America.” Permit me to give you some personal reflections of what these statistics mean, and share my thoughts about some of the factors which should be considered as the committee fulfills its responsibilities. From a policy perspective, I became involved in the legislative efforts to root out discrimination against women, as the principal Senate sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment. Before proceeding further, I should point out that the death of Congresswoman Patsy Mink this week should remind us that she and many of her peers, Edith Green, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, Barbara Mikulski, Pat Schroeder and others both within and outside the Congress, worked tirelessly to achieve our common goal. I was shocked at the degree of discrimination that existed across the board. Women did not receive equal pay for equal work. Women were often treated more harshly by the nation’s court system, because “women are not supposed to commit such crimes.” However, it was immediately apparent that the most egregious and damaging discrimination existed in the area of education. Tomes have been written about the fact that the future of our boys and girls and our country depends upon the quality of our education system. I need not repeat the impact of shortcomings in this area to the future well being of our country in today’s high-tech environment to those of you who are well aware of this fact. Most of the publicity about Title IX’s existence has been from the accomplishment of our women athletes. Olympic champions, the World Cup in soccer, Olympic medals, the annual trip to the Final Four in women’s basketball, and the extraordinary capabilities of the women who nightly perform in the WNBA, have been visual reminders of what women athletes can accomplish. I have been told by countless numbers of these women personally involved that their opportunity to participate would not have been possible were it not for Title IX. I most confess that this athletic success warms my heart but it also reminds me that at the time we were considering the Equal Rights Amendment and Title IX, I thought that the greatest benefit would come from opening the doors of our education system so that girls, young women, faculty members and administrators could fully utilize their God-given talents in the academic area. As Marvella would remind me on occasion, “We cannot ignore the need to develop the thought processes and talents of 52% of the nation’s population.” We have made significant progress in opening the doors of education to America’s young women in the last 30 years. Before Title IX, womens’ enrollment in higher education was in the 40s. Today, women constitute approximately 53% of the student bodies on our campuses, however a careful statistical analysis of the disparities which exist among the various degree programs causes one to be less enthusiastic and to realize that, despite this progress, unacceptable elements of discrimination continue to exist. Marcia Greenberger and her associates at the National Women’s Law Center have provided a detailed study which permits us to focus on where the problem of discrimination is greatest. At the risk of over simplifying a complex problem, boys and young men have, from an early age, been prepared to follow one educational track. Girls and young women have been sensitized to follow another. It has been the age old stereotyping in which educators have assumed that girls and young women are better qualified to fulfill certain roles in society and boys and young men have been educated to fulfill another. Prior to Title IX, our nation’s education system provided boys with shop and vocational education and girls took home economics. The opportunity to train for jobs in the automotive, aviation, food and maritime trades was reserved almost entirely for boys. At the post-secondary level, young men traditionally received training for jobs in trade and industry and technical occupations. At the same time young women were traditionally educated to be homemakers, teachers or in the health occupations and cosmetology, all of which were lower paying jobs. It is readily apparent that wages received in male-oriented occupations provided a better standard of living for the worker and his or her family. Permit me to zero in on one of the areas of education and that is engineering. Although at some institutions such as MIT and Berkeley the percentage of entry level students is 30%, if one looks at overall averages for the year 2001, students in the entering class averaged 18%, bachelor degrees 20%, and Ph.D. degrees 16.7%. For the faculty as a whole, women faculty constituted 8.9% and senior faculty 4.4%. Approximately 2% of executive positions were filled by women. This constitutes a dismal picture and it is easy to become depressed at the discrimination which exists in this area. Permit me to suggest that rather than dwell on failures, we recognize the successes which have been made in other areas of education. I am an optimist, I am confident that if our institutions of higher learning set the proper standards and follow the proper practices which are designed to accomplish the goal of equal education opportunities for women in the engineering field, we will reach this goal. Unfortunately, the problem cannot be solved by Congressional awareness or by passage of legislation. Congress can send a clear message to those in the Department of Education and the institutions of higher education throughout the land that present standards will not be accepted. However, to solve this problem in the long run requires dealing with a more fundamental problem. In my judgment, this problem must be addressed first at the breakfast and dinner tables where mothers and fathers need to understand that equal opportunity should be expected for their daughters as well as their sons. Psychiatrists have observed that young girls/daughters begin developing expectations for themselves at a very early age. It is encouraging to note that soccer and baseball fields and basketball courts are filled with girls at an early age on into high school. Those girls are participating in athletics because their parents have encouraged them to do so and have been on the sidelines encouraging them to participate and to be successful. Women would not now be participating at significant percentages in athletics at our colleges and universities and playing for the WNBA if it were not for encouragement at home or in the early ages of primary and secondary education. Also, it should be pointed out that the Department of Education had rigid requirements which were regularly enforced across the nation’s athletic fields. Despite the notoriety and justifiable pride which has accompanied women’s accomplishments in the athletic field, it is imperative to recognize that only a very small percent of the student body in our universities and colleges ever play varsity athletics. Also, it is critical to note that young women need role models which help them focus and develop self-esteem. In the athletic area they have Chamique Holdsclaw, Cynthia Cooper and Mia Hamm, but who are the role models in the academic area? Before Title IX women were suspect if not outright prohibited from studying in the areas of law and medicine. Today, in the upper 10% of most graduating classes you will find at least half of them are women, often the number one graduate is a woman. We need to inform our daughters of the accomplishments of women in corporations and businesses where numerous women are CEOs and serving on corporate boards. But what about the fields of engineering and science? Who do they have for role models? We need to alert our daughters to accomplishments in these areas. Of course, we recognize the exploits and the sacrifices of women astronauts such as Christina McAuliffe and Sally Ride. Permit me to use an excellent example of a peer model in the area of engineering. Recently, my alma mater, Purdue University, appointed a woman, Linda P.B. Katehi, as the university’s Dean of Engineering. This is all well and good, but Dean Katehi is one of only 5 women deans out of the top 150 engineering schools in the country. What happens to young women who determine to enter the engineering field? I have already cited the abysmal record in this area. Why do so few women choose engineering as a career? Here is only one snapshot. To advance as a faculty member, it is critical to be granted tenure. This status is not available until seven or eight years of faculty experience. Often the first stage to granting tenure is to receive the majority support of your peers on the faculty which is mostly constituted of men. Often the vote is held in secret and one cannot help but wonder whether male faculty members vote no because they are not comfortable to have female faculty members succeed. Permit me to suggest that the Subcommittee ask the Department of Education to allocate sufficient funds to establish specific criteria which must be met for institutions to comply with Title IX in the academic area. The Department should establish a system of careful examination and enforcement such as that which now exists in the field of athletics. I am sure that members of the Subcommittee can, from their own experiences, develop ideas which will help provide little girls, older girls and young women with examples and programs which will result in them developing the self esteem and incentive to make their mark in areas where now they are not comfortable. Unbelievable as it may sound, often young women report that the reason for not pursuing an engineering education is that reports from women who have preceded them are to the effect that often male students have made life miserable for them and their professors have often exhibited outright hostility. If we mean business, I suggest that such students should be expelled and such professors should find new employment. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to express my thoughts.