Title IX and STEM - The Pregnant Scholar
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Title IX and STEM

Childbearing and caregiving are major factors that push women out of the scientific pipeline; but Title IX gives institutions the tools to keep them in.

Title IX’s mandates directly respond to the two elements experts cite as key factors in stalling women’s advancement in science: gender bias and a lack of family friendly policies.  The videos and information below provide tools for going beyond the minimum requirements for anti-discrimination and pregnancy leave and accommodations, to implementing best practices.

For more information on retaining women scientists in your department, see our sister site, Tools For Change in STEM.

For information aimed at supervisors of pregnant students/postdoc researchers, see here.

some-things-are-illegal

Some Things Are Illegal

This workshop gives a short introduction to three developments that may make universities more vulnerable to lawsuits than they have traditionally been. The first is a new but rapidly growing area of the law called family responsibilities discrimination. Title IX compliance is the second; it prohibits pregnancy discrimination and may require maternity leave for students, graduates students and postdocs. The workshop also provides an introduction to the kinds of gender stereotyping that can give rise to difficulties in the event of a lawsuit.

best-practices

The Competitive Edge: Best Practices for Family Friendly Policies

Many universities have taken significant steps to create family friendly policies in order to recruit and retain parents. The federal agencies that support science have also begun to introduce family friendly initiatives. This video reviews promising policies and invites participants to examine their own university’s policies.

Federal Grants and Title IX

Policies

All federal funders of research require programs they sponsor to abide by Title IX.

At times, these agencies conduct compliance reviews of their sponsored programs to assess their compliance with Title IX. Compliance reviews are also conducted in response to complaints of sex discrimination.

Support

Federal agencies provide technical assistance with managing grant-sponsored research in accordance with Title IX. They also maintain proactive policies to support the success of women and parents in STEM, including policies that allow institutions to preserve or supplement grant funding when necessary because a researcher must pause their research to take leave for pregnancy-related conditions or caregiving.  

For more information, review your grant agreement, and explore the sites below:

Evaluation

NASA has provided a Title IX self-review that enables administrators working with departments in the STEM fields to thoroughly evaluate all aspects of their program for compliance with the law.

The review is designed to be completed by administrators in any program, and you can score it yourself.