2018 Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon Outcomes: Strategies for How Men Can Advance Women’s Equality in Political Science

About the Hackathon
The APSA Presidential Task Force on Women’s Advancement held a Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon at the 2018 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Boston, chaired by Mala Htun and Alvin B. Tillery, Jr.  At the hackathon, teams developed strategies to address key challenges facing the profession, build partnerships, and plans to move forward. This series of PSNow posts highlights those proposals and links to more resources for the profession.

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A1 Advocacy / Recognize achievements
A2 Inclusive networks
A3 Women as journal editors / positions of power
B1 Stand up
B2 Respect and know gender research / diversify syllabi
B3 Better systems
B4 Check privilege, check biases
C1 Hiring more women / Better systems
C2 Avoid manels / Model behavior
C3 Transparency on conditions

A1 Advocacy / Recognize achievements:

  •   Nominate women for awards.
    • Stay on top of all faculty accomplishments and call them ALL out
    • Nominate women for awards
    •  Champion the work that women are doing. Be a mentor and a sponsor of women. Help them get into the best journals, make connections, etc.
  • Create a checklist that is mindful of gender gaps of syllabus, research you highlight, nominate, lobby for on the job market, comprehensive exam list, who you invite to campus, social media.
  • For nomination / promotion: Share information about the process of nomination, applying to conferences.  Share information and be supportive, let women choose.
  • Use a same checklist when creating syllabus (dates, journals, gender). (webtool for this: gender balance assessment tool,)
  • Put first names of authors in syllabus so that you or others can use the gender balance assessment tool  

Read more.

A2 Inclusive networks

  • 3 ways to think about networking:
    1. Status quo bias in networks – male dominated networks perpetuate themselves
    2. Male bonding 
    3. Sexist behavior WHILE networking


  • For senior men: organize small group mentoring around conferences etc-
    • Recruit through twitter, seed individuals, Women Also Know, and snowball sampling
    • Meet in a public space in groups
    • Issue based outreach rather than status based outreach
    • Transparency around motivation “I want to diversify my network”
  • For junior men: connect peers to senior men, take cohort members and peers to business meetings and introduce them
  • Ask to discuss papers by women, ask women to discuss/comment on your work, this might involve going outside of your immediate field  but if your field has v few women, make sure they are included
  • Use panels proactively and organize post-panel meetups

Read more.

A3 Women as journal editors / positions of power

  • Encourage diversity among editors
  • Encourage submissions of top papers to top journals; say when ready to send out
  • More resources to editors to make it more attractive for editors
  • Active policing of bad behavior by reviewers
  • Do text analysis of reviews to see if they are gendered
  • Encourage limits on self citations (eg. limit to four per author)
  • If you see work you like say it; don’t just download.

Read more.

B1 Stand up

Call out exclusive groups where women aren’t present — even if you’re already there. Bringing women into the conversation:

  • Call on a woman first 
  • Being explicit about desire to change conversation. “Hey — I want to hear from someone different”
  • Exercise patience. If a bunch of men are ready come in, waiting for contributions from others. “I want to hear from someone else.” I’ll wait you out. 

Read more.

B2 Respect and know gender research / diversify syllabi

  • Task APSA with raising awareness of the issue of non diverse syllabi and providing and maintaining over time syllabi and lists of articles relevant to a range of topics across political science
  • Encourage field seminars
  • Diversfying syllabi signals what is good work, changes what you teach substantively

Read more.

B3 Better systems

  • Strong advocacy by men for maternity leave at institutions that do not yet have it.
  • Transparent uniform reporting of leave history for all candidates for promotion.
  • Explore mechanisms for additional time off for people raising small children. One such possibility would be half-time teaching, half-speed tenure clock at half pay for persons with young children.

Read more.

B4 Check privilege, check biases

  • Blinding
    Hiring: Some form of blind review in hiring
    Ex. blind paper reading by people not in the field.
    Unintended consequence: Helps male graduate students who have been given more time to write
  • Precommitment
    Hiring: Have predefined selection criteria instead of allowing people to adjust their criteria as search progresses. But, need to consider the potential gender/racial bias of the criteria (potential unexpected consequences). Ex, we use prestige as a signal, but it is associated with gender.

Read more.

C1 Hiring more women / Better systems

  • Concrete suggestions:
    Recognition that sometimes female candidates look different. Female candidates can have a two-body problem starting from choosing where to go to grad school. Having kids during grad school extends clock. Stop using shortcuts like prestige, time to finish, and institution, and look at the quality of the work. Be very conscious of the shortcuts that we are using to evaluate candidates. Don’t try to infer things from dates on CVs.
  • Gender-biased networking in conferences that hooks into research partnerships. Balance this out with less biased ways of networking. Think about gender bias in co-authoring with graduate students. If you can mentor a male and female graduate student to come out with similar CVs, this would be a big improvement.
    Mentoring female job applications candidates

Read more.

C2 Avoid manels / Model behavior

  • Intentionality: set diversity as an objective early on and don’t try to “fix it” later
  • Public signaling and explicit communication
  • Tell your students that they should not do manels–norm-setting for the next generation
  • Invite one-by-one rather than as a whole single set of invites
    • Variant: invite female participants first
  • Pledges to avoid participating in or avoiding manels–balanced against the concern of tokenism and differential responsibility

Read more.

C3 Transparency on conditions

  • Transparency
    Salary/Money: Anonymized salaries by rank, gender, race, etc collected by APSA but possibly aggregated upward to avoid problems with anonymized, announce opportunities (Fellowship, RA, postdocs) commonly in known fashion; transparency of compensation for service positions.
  • Salary/Budget/Leave information.
    Making transparent puts people on level playing field. But it also publicizes outside offers, which are really the major viable way within the system to obtain raises/substantial resources at many if not most places. W/o offers, knowledge might do little but breed discontent.

Read more.

  • Team led by Macartan Humphreys and Jessica Preece.