Leadership Responds to Calls for Greater Gender Inclusiveness
This past fall President G.P. “Bud” Peterson initiated a series of listening sessions with several groups of students, faculty, and staff to explore the issues of gender equity and inclusiveness at Georgia Tech. Participants were encouraged to not only reflect on personal experiences, but also to offer specific suggestions and ideas that would improve the campus culture.
While each group had concerns relative to their standing at Tech, several common themes emerged. The faculty and staff groups spoke of challenges related to salary equity issues and career advancement opportunities, as well as improved support during parental leave. The absence of peer and mentoring networks were frequently cited, as well as the need for a tracking mechanism to monitor recruitment and retention.
“A diverse community is one of the important values articulated in our Strategic Plan,” Peterson said, “and we are committed to ensuring that individuals, regardless of gender, feel they are both supported and challenged in their work. This is one of the hallmarks of a 21st century research university, and we are committed to work together as a community to fulfill that vision.”
Last month, Peterson and his executive leadership team reviewed the recommendations, directing them to the appropriate academic and administrative units — Human Resources, Student Life, Academic Affairs, and others — with a request that each unit develop plans and initiate implementation.
“I have asked our Strategic Plan Advisory Group, chaired by Dr. David Frost, to oversee the progress in the areas of gender equity and inclusion,” Peterson said. “They are well positioned to monitor and report to campus leadership on areas of improvement and remaining challenges.
“I am grateful to those who have taken their time to share their concerns and very appreciative of the candor and free exchange of ideas that resulted. As a result of their efforts and involvement, Georgia Tech will emerge a stronger institution.”