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SURVEY OF ISSUES IMPORTANT TO WOMEN PROFESSORS AT EPFL AND ETHZ 2019

Bernier-Latmani, Rizlan; Fueger, Helene; Guiducci, Carlotta; Baldi-Unser, Lucia; Hering, Janet

This report presents the results of a survey conducted in January 2018 by the ETH WPF. In the survey, all female faculty members from both EPFL and ETHZ were asked to identify issues of concern to them and to evaluate possible measures to address those issues.

At the time of the survey, the statistics for 2017 showed that women constituted only 15% of the faculty at EPFL and 14% at ETHZ. At both schools, the proportion of women was lowest at the rank of Full Professor (9% at EPFL and 10% at ETHZ). An overwhelming majority of the respondents held the opinion that there are too few women faculty, not only in general (91% EPFL, 94% ETHZ) but
also at the full professor rank (98% EPFL, 97% ETHZ), on decision-making boards (93% EPFL, 88% ETHZ) and as institute directors (89% EPFL, 91% ETHZ). The respondents endorsed the overall target that women should constitute 35% of the faculty by 2025.

In evaluating measures to address issues that adversely affect women faculty, the respondents clearly identified an important role for academic leadership, particularly in reinforcing the importance of gender diversity and work-life balance and in raising awareness of and addressing unconscious bias. The issues raised regarding bias in the hiring and promotion processes also need to be addressed in a systematic manner at the leadership level; studies of unconscious bias show that such problems are exacerbated by the lack of clearly defined criteria for hiring and promotion. Respondents recommended that proactive measures should be taken to identify female candidates for faculty searches, to promote mentoring and integration of junior faculty in their academic units, and to
retain tenured women faculty. Although inequitable access to resources was not identified as an issue by the majority of espondents, concerns were raised over the lack of transparency in space and/or resource allocation.

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