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On the Gateway: Women’s History Month

The Alumni Education Gateway shares insights from the U-M community on research pertaining to women’s history, health, and pressing social issues.
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To honor Women’s History Month, the Alumni Education Gateway is giving access to educational content and information from U-M experts, including a podcast highlighting women who work in STEM fields and a livestreamed event featuring women who work in local government.

WOMEN IN STEM

This special collection of “The Michigan Minds” podcast highlights women working in STEM fields at U-M. From studies of mathematical models on treating cancer, to natural language processing, to firearm injury prevention, the breadth and depth of important research conducted by these women is astounding.

THE FIRST WOMEN

In 1924, the Alumni Association’s Alumnae Council sent a questionnaire to U-M’s first female graduates. The U-M Heritage Project presents a sampling of some of the 3,000 candid responses that make for fascinating reading, both for the sharp contrasts to the campus of today and for the uncanny parallels.

COVID-19, WOMEN, AND THE NEWS CYCLE

Studies have found that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women in numerous ways throughout academic medicine. Michigan Medicine’s Reshma Jagsi and Alangoya Tezel recently studied the representation of physicians during the COVID-19 news cycle and found that women are underrepresented as authors of academic research papers that have been published during the pandemic.

LEADING LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Women make up about 50% of the state of Michigan’s population; however, they make up only 16% of Michigan’s local chief administrative officers. The Michigan Municipal League’s 16/50 Project is working on lessening this leadership gap by getting more women seated in the municipal top spot. Listen to this panel of women leading communities in Michigan as they discuss local government challenges and share their thoughts on the municipal management profession.

MENTORSHIP DYNAMICS

Ross School of Business professor Cindy Schipani discusses gender inequalities in the workplace, offering a solution to this difficult issue by proposing that women executives should mentor men. Schipani says switching the typical dynamic could “benefit the mentor, the mentee, and society as a whole.”

THE BREADWINNER NORM

Researcher David Lam discusses his study about the “breadwinner norm,” highlighting previous research regarding women withdrawing their effort from the labor force when they are about to succeed their male counterparts financially. In his research, Lam emphasizes the anomaly near the 50% mark when couples’ income are nearly identical, finding that women may not be sabotaging themselves after all.  Lam is an economics professor and the director of U-M’s Institute for Social Research.

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