In November, we gave away one copy of Therese Huston’s How Women Decide. As part of the giveaway, we asked participants two questions:

How do you address gender inequities in your classroom?

In what ways do you see gender affecting your work/teaching?

We received a number of thoughtful answers and, in the spirit of building an online learning community, have compiled them in this post. Thank you to all participants for sharing your experience and expertise with us!

How do you address gender inequities in your classroom?

“At the beginning of the semester I ask what pronouns the student prefers to go by.” –C. Overton, GTA, Theatre Arts Department

“I try to assign female authors and female sources for readings to improve awareness of females in my field as well as normalize them. I also include female (first) names in the syllabus – not just last names.” –J. Doe, GTA

“Classes are mostly male, and female students are quiet. I encourage female students to come to office hours, where they interact much more freely with me and the material.” –Jane Doe, GTA

“In many of my classes, we discuss gender inequity quite a lot, beginning from the texts or artifacts that we are discussing. I often ask students to reflect on the ways that the situations they experience (in the classroom or elsewhere) are similar to or different from the situations we encounter in our reading and other explorations. I also try to be mindful of the balance of contributions from differently gendered students in our large-group discussions, as well as during group work, and to make space for underrepresented groups and individuals to contribute.” –Anonymous

In what ways do you see gender affecting your work/teaching?

“It is important for students to see a woman of color in a position of intellectual authority. I am unapologetic about my presence and my purpose as an academic, because of my intersecting identities.” –Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, Epidemiology

“I recently attended a professional development seminar where the professor (a very accomplished and confident woman) acknowledged her own struggles with imposter syndrome. It was quite a shock but also refreshing to have someone who has the appearance of being immune to it be very forthright. […] I recognized that by self-limiting my own voice I was doing a disservice not only to my own development but to younger women scholars who were trying to find their voice and needed role models as well.–Laura Maguire

“I definitely also feel that, as a female teacher, I am challenged by male students more than, perhaps, a male instructor would be. (e.g. regarding grades) I’ve also seen the same characteristic be judged differently in different iterations of the same class when the other instructor is male. That might or might not relate to gender (a ‘big vocabulary’ makes him ‘smart,’ but me ‘too hard to understand’).” –Anonymous

“As I female instructor, I know I must project a lot more confidence than I actually feel not only because I likely am not as confident as male colleagues/instructors, but also to establish with my students early in the semester that I know what I am doing.” –Anonymous

We invite you to enter our December book giveaway for Teaching Interculturally by Amy Lee, et al. Also, please feel free to read previous posts in our “Teachers Talk” series about teaching outside your area of expertise, small teaching, intercultural teaching and classroom technology/online teaching.

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