Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Diversity Deficit: UOA's "Leading the Way" campaign

My partner pointed this out to me; I think he is starting to be influenced by all the times I comment on the mostly white, mostly male, mostly older than 40, mostly hetero, alleged representations of our society.

Like its American counterparts, the University of Auckland is now sourcing more and more of its funding from philanthropic sources, and they've now launched a major campaign called "Leading the Way" to encourage contributions. And there's a committee coordinating this effort, of course. It's quite large. You can see a picture of them all on the staircase inside the Registry:


Notice anything? Anything at all?

25 comments:

captiver said...

yes, check this out.
Spot the Woman:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/dec/07/women-equality-feminism-glass-ceiling

Anna said...

Leading the way - to the golf club?

It's pretty apt though. I gather from living the last 15 or so years living in a provincial city that philanthropy is very much a male activity.

Julie said...

I was reminded of the conversation we had a while back about the foregrounding of women and other non-older-white-males in the Microsoft business conference pic. You almost don't notice the big group down the stairs to the right, with the way the women are centred (and the guy who isn't grey).

hungrymama said...

Are they all wearing the exact same suit?

The ex-expat said...

philanthropy is very much a male activity.
I don't know about the Anna. I suspect in some areas, like health and the lower-level education, the charities seem to be driven by women.

Brett Dale said...

There are two possibly three woman in the picture of mostly men, some of the guys are balding or have got grey hair, the stairway is too narrow for all those people? Their outfits all look the same.

ideologicallyimpure said...

Holy crap, you're right, Julie - somebody didn't notice that a few stray women had stumbled into the photo shoot! Some publicity analyst has egg *all* over their face today, I bet.

Anna said...

I tend to draw a distinction between philanthropy (ie gifting buildings to the city which you've named after yourself) from charity - the less glamourous and more labour intensive stuff that women do!

Brett Dale said...

Julie:

I think your being paranoid.

Julie said...

But Brett it's not paranoia if they are really out to get you! ;-)

I seem to recall something in the US when they named a tennis centre after Billie Jean King; apparently it was the first time an American sports building had been named after a woman. I think it happened in 2006.

Brett Dale said...

That may be true, but the Woman's NBA is only about a decade old, there are professionals woman baseball leagues in the Usa also, but they use multi purpose venues. I would say there will be several woman USA professional footballers that will soon have a stadium named after them.

Qot said...

I'd like to thank Brett for providing the classic, "It's just women haven't been good enough/done it for long enough/worked hard enough to be on a par with men" argument. Silly women, we should clearly just try harder.

Brett Dale said...

Qot:

Uhm where did I say that?

ideologicallyimpure said...

Right about the point where you said "the women's NBA is only about a decade old", Brett. Because basketball is the only sport women play in the US? And women have only been able to participate in any sport at all for ten years? How does any of this equate to excusing, explaining or mitigating the lack of recognition of sportswomen in the US?

Psycho Milt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Psycho Milt said...

Uhm where did I say that?

Alright, I'll say it. The post was an unfair, if indirect, accusation against me as a 40-somthing white man, so why not give some back?

In my section of the university I work in, women seem to have no problems reaching leadership positions if they put themselves forward and demonstrate ambition and ability. I notice however that the great majority demonstrate plenty of ability but no ambition. They're happy doing what they're doing and consider their jobs utterly secondary to their husbands' careers. Is it surprising these people aren't achieving positions of power in the organisation? Yes we should look for reasons why that is, but I can tell you that one of them isn't that I and my evil Whitey swinging dick cohorts are making sure only guys like us end up in management jobs. Not where I work, anyway.

Brett Dale said...

I use the basketball as an example because its one of the big five team sports in the USA, American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Football (soccer), Ice Hockey.

The womans nba is fairly new and there are semi professional female baseball teams, while soccer has taken off recently in the USA, there are some professionals ice hockey league for woman and probably some American Football ones also.

Because, Baseball, American football, and Ice hockey for woman are semi professional, its going to be hard to name an actual stadium after a player.

But Im guessing there will be stadiums named after soccer and baseball players in the future.

The states also do a good job of giving recognition to its top female tennis and golf stars, track and field, and female motor sport stars.

I still don't know where I said, " women haven't been good enough"

I did say long enough, because that is true, most people who get sports stadiums names after them are sports people who play in team sports, and the fully professional woman leagues have only been around for a decade or two.

Anonymous said...

"The states also do a good job of giving recognition to its top female tennis and golf stars, track and field, and female motor sport stars"

Only if they are good looking.

Anonymous said...

Segregation in sport should end. Just have one NBA for both men and women.

And abolish netball, basketball's inferior cousin.

Brett Dale said...

The Williams sisters get media attention for being brilliant tennis players, not because of their looks, as for abolishing netball, well as a basketball fan, I would hope womans basketball would get more attention by our media than it does, but for some reason they are focused on netball instead.

alexis said...

The Williams sisters get media attention despite their looks. They got media attention because they were hard to ignore. Their early days were FILLED with misogynistic comments about how 'manly' and 'unwomanly' they looked. They might be fantastic athletes, but it can't be distanced from the fact that they were not considered visually pleasing (which is the most important role for women to fulfill). Now that they've softened up their image (whilst still being amazing athletes), there is nothing to talk about - instead focus is on women who aren't as good but fit perfectly into the blond, white, thin beauty standard.

Julie said...

PM, I think you're taking my post a bit overly personally. It's about the composition of the committee organising a specific area of the University's activity, not academia as a whole or even the institution you work at.

Anna said...

Psycho Milt - I think you raise an interesting point. I did some research at my old uni into the careers of women academics. Women academics are certainly held back by the fact that they take on more family responsibility - but as well as asking why this work isn't shared equally amongst men and women, we also need to ask what universities are doing to facilitate work/life balance. From memory, there was a report on PBRF which identified that part-timers (usually women with kids) did less well in the stakes than men. Should we be asking why this is, whether the way PBRF measures output is appropriate, etc?

Psycho Milt said...

Julie: working in a university, you get worn down by the accusations of the privileges you supposedly enjoy over your female colleagues. Apologies for the sensitivity.

Anna: PBRF is also a measure of ambition as much as anything else. Some of my colleagues did processing of our university's PBRF submissions in the last round - some academics submitted only stuff they could be proud of, others bombarded the research office with every single thing they wrote, including letters to the editor and times they were mentioned in the paper, even the same doc under different titles. I never did any sex-based analysis of who fell into the latter category, but I'd be willing to bet Women's Studies wasn't well represented...

Anna said...

PM, I don't what your remark about women's studies was intended to imply, but the Gender Studies department on my campus is staffed by very capable academics who publish prolifically. I don't know why you would consider people who do women's studies to lack ambition.

And I don't know why you would considering filling your PBRF portfolio with crap as being any sort of measure of ambition. Again, I'm not sure what this is supposed to imply - that women should put more crap in their portfolios?

The amount of time you have to produce research, letters to the editor or whatever is contingent on the other parts of your job. The lit review I did in this area indicated that women do more low-level administration duties (eg intra-departmental, low prestige committees) and pastoral care of students, while men do more high level committee service. If, as you seem to be suggesting, this work done by women reflects our lack of ambition, who do you propose will do it? Quite clearly, women do a lot of it (esp low-level admin) because no one else is.