Climate studies that measure equity and inclusion among faculty reveal widespread gender and race disparities in higher education. The chilly departmental climate that women and faculty of color experience is typically measured through university-wide surveys. Although inclusion plays out at the department level, research rarely focuses on departments. Drawing from 57 interviews with faculty in 14 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) departments, we compare experiences with inclusion among faculty in the same departments and rank who differ by race and gender. Women of color perceive their departments as least inclusive, followed by White women, White men, and men of color (largely foreign born). Yet the organizational context of departments strongly shapes faculty perspectives on climate. Analyzing multiple perspectives on the same departments reveals inclusive, improving, and marginalizing departments, as explained by perceptions of representation, collegiality, and democratic leadership. Faculty across race and gender largely agree when they are in inclusive or marginalizing departments. In improving departments, there is greater disagreement. By focusing on faculty who share the same department and rank, but differ by race and gender, we identify key approaches leaders can take to create more inclusive departments. Our focus on the department level helps develop new insights about how inclusion operates in university settings.
Journal or Book Title
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education