Using a three-pronged intersectional approach, ImPACT IT is working to:
- Assess, develop, and improve AIS policies and practices, through a) collecting and analyzing intersectional data and b) conducting a self-assessment,
- Create and institutionalize best practices and systems that support women in their path towards promotion to full
- Implement measures to reduce and mitigate hidden and implicit biases within the AIS and its members.
Taken together, these activities aim to catalyze action and foster accountability around supporting women’s efforts to advance to full. First of its kind, ImPACT IT leverages a national association to advance systemic change within a STEM field. AIS leaders, its diversity stakeholder groups, and AIS members-at-large are working together to assess the Association’s current practices and policies with an eye towards systemic change in policies, systems, and practice to foster more equitable outcomes related to women’s promotion to full professor. As we move forward, the project team will develop and implement workshops and training to reduce implicit bias and help associate faculty understand and manage their promotion process given the existence of such biases.
The expected outcome of our efforts will be increased gender equity within the AIS, its processes, and policies, as well as increased numbers of women IS faculty receiving promotion to full. Additionally, because this project includes a diverse cross-section of association members, it will contribute to the research knowledge base on gender equity and the intersection of gender with other identities in IT academic careers, such as race and sexuality.
By partnering with successful programs, such as the AAAS SEA Change and anti-implicit bias training pioneered through AWIS, and adapting existing ADVANCE program supported resources and best practices, greater impact will be achieved.
As mentioned in the Editor’s Comments in MIS Quarterly’s September 2021 Issue Towards Scholarly Flourishing in the IS Field: Stories, Reflection, and Actions in an Emotional Time, we will work with MISQ as described below in bold:
“While we plan to focus this first instance of the initiative on female academics, we will also take an intersectional approach, that is, to recognize that gender inequality coexists with other inequalities, such as economic and social inequality. In short, while gender is our focus, we will account for other factors too (Britton and Logan 2008; Payton et al. 2021; Ryan and El Ayadi 2020). For each segment of the community we support, we will coordinate our activities with other relevant activities in the field.
For instance, in the case of female IS academics, we will coordinate this initiative with the AIS Women’s Network (Loiacono et al. 2016) and other efforts to advance women in IT, such as the ImPACT IT project (Loiacono et al. 2020). We are also leveraging our experience with related, successful initiatives. In particular, the IS field is very familiar with mentoring young academics through consortia (Gable et al. 2016). MISQ is also very familiar with running author-development workshops (Rai 2017). The initiative we have planned can be viewed as a combination of a junior faculty consortium and an author development workshop.”
The ImPact IT model will be disseminated broadly and is hoped to serve as a role model for other associations seeking to increase the number of women promoted to full in higher education.