The ImPACT IT project will address the lack of gender equity within Information Systems (IS) academia. Increasing the number of women, especially at the rank of full professor, benefits all of society since equal representation of women of all intersectional identities among the senior ranks of IS faculty will enhance the quality of students’ education, the impact of university research, engagement with communities, and the leadership of higher education institutions. Using a three-pronged intersectional approach, ImPACT IT will: (1) assess, develop, and improve AIS policies and practices, including intersectional data collection and analysis, (2) create and institutionalize best practices and systems that support women in their path towards promotion to full professor; and (3) implement best practices in reducing and mitigating hidden and implicit biases within the Association for Information Systems (AIS) and its members. Taken together these activities will catalyze action and foster accountability around supporting women’s efforts to advance to full professor. The expected outcome 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 professor. 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 and adapting existing ADVANCE program supported resources and best practices, greater impact will be achieved. The ImPact IT model will be disseminated broadly and can serve as a role model for other associations seeking to increase the number of women promoted to full professor in higher education.

The AIS has only just begun to grapple with the systemic disadvantages to women and under-represented minorities in the IS field, and especially in their efforts to advance to full professor. A primary driver of this has been the lack of comprehensive demographic data on AIS membership, including the number of women and minorities in the AIS. The dearth of data makes it difficult to track the success or failure in AIS’ efforts to support women and under-represented minority members. The project is unique in the way it builds upon prior research from ADVANCE grants. Further, it gives greater insight into how STEM associations can engage their leadership and members to increase the representation and advancement of women and underrepresented minorities in the rank of full professor.

The NSF ADVANCE program is designed to foster gender equity through a focus on the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of diverse faculty in academic institutions. Organizational barriers that inhibit equity may exist in policies, processes, practices, and the organizational culture and climate. ADVANCE "Partnership" awards provide support to collaborations among STEM professional societies and academic and non-academic non-profit organizations designed to broaden the implementation of evidence-based equity strategies and have a national or regional reach.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
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Erika Tatiana Camacho
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College of William and Mary
United States
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