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Cross-Institutional Women's Caucus

Program Purpose

The Cross-Institutional Women’s Caucus is intended to foster conversations and sharing of best practices focused on issues pertaining to STEM faculty diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Cross-Institutional Women’s Caucus hosts a virtual series of shared events featuring documentary film screenings, prominent speakers, and panel discussions highlighting the bias and inequities faced by women faculty in STEM, especially women of color and women with significant family caregiving responsibilities, together with practices and policies that have proven effective in addressing bias and inequity. Through these shared events, we hope to create strong cross-institutional support networks that will effectively promote positive systemic change, leading to more diverse, equitable and inclusive climates on our campuses.


  1. Identify and coordinate a relevant topic with an aligned event
  2. Meeting between the internal women’s caucus organizing group (WMU group) for planning 
  3. Schedule and plan event details and logistics in coordination with external university
  4. Creation and dispersal of marketing materials
  5. Host and facilitate event if desired (virtual or in-person where applicable)
  6. Follow up post-event impact survey and data analysis

*events/programs can be coordinated across multiple institutions per request and where applicable


Carla Koretsky, Heather Petcovic


We hosted four cross-institutional virtual events in 2020-21. These included: a screening and discussion of Picture a Scientist, which attracted 602 registrants; a lecture and discussion with Donna Riley, Kamyar Haghighi Head and Professor, School of Engineering Education at Purdue University, with 308 registrants; and a screening and discussion of the Bearded Lady Project, with 84 attendees. In addition, 133 academic leaders from the four institutions attended a Speaking Up Workshop with PowerPlay.

Event registrants who responded to post-event surveys indicated that these events were very impactful. Specifically, many participants agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements:

"This event improved my understanding of the challenges experienced by underrepresented women faculty in STEM."

Picture a Scientist: 84%

(dis)Credit with Donna Riley: 87% 

PowerPlay: 59% 

Bearded Lady Project: 69%


"This event increased my awareness of actions I can take to promote gender equity in STEM."

Picture a Scientist: 48%

(dis)Credit with Donna Riley: 70%

PowerPlay: 67%

Bearded Lady Project: 42% 


"This event increased my motivation to take actions to promote gender equity."

Picture a Scientist: 82% 

(dis)Credit with Donna Riley: 83%

PowerPlay: 73%

Bearded Lady Project: 75%


Examples of comments from individuals who attended these events include:

“I will be much more aware of language that minimizes women’s contributions and will find ways to amplify their work”

“I will not be a bystander when I witness gender bias”

“[I will] be ready as a white male ally to intervene and speak up during moments which are prompting inequity”

“[I will] monitor search, hiring and promotion practices to be fair and unbiased”

“[I will] work to ensure that space, service load, teaching, etc. are equitably distributed”


Picture a Scientist

Donna Riley, “(dis)Credit: Erasure and Scrutiny of Women in STEM”

The Bearded Lady Project

PowerPlay Interactive Development Bias Awareness and Intervention