The ASU Commission on the Status of Women recognizes that ASU has a demonstratable high level of commitment and history of progress towards achieving gender equity, has implemented policies and structures that enhance the climate for women's success and has provided access to data crucial for the monitoring of gender equity. These are significant accomplishments. Significant problems, however, remain. Identified problems in Spring 2002 included:
These issues, although addressed by ABOR Reaching the Vision recommendations, continue to be on-going concerns for ASU women. Their persistence, coupled with several independent initiatives to address these issues, led the Commission, with the support of the Provost's Office to undertake a strategic planning initiative in April 2002. The goal behind this initiative was to develop a new strategic plan for the university that would prioritize key issues, needs, and goals affecting the status of women at ASU.
In order to develop the plan, a needs assessment was conducted by interviewing a cross section of ASU women from both the Tempe and Polytechnic campuses. This population included women faculty, administrators, staff members and students. Some of the major findings from this assessment indicated that a significant number of women across all categories at ASU feel undervalued and even disrespected. Furthermore, a majority of the participants acknowledged pockets of chilly and hostile climates across departments and classrooms at the University. Quotes such as "I can only succeed if I’m not noticed" and "I do the work, he gets the credit" echoed throughout participant interviews.
Based upon the responses of participants, CSW created six "priority" areas by which to organize and address the concerns of the women population at ASU. These six areas include:
For each priority area, CSW has developed both an "immediate action" and a "long-term" remedy plan. This method of organization has served to provide a more effective and targeted approach to improving conditions for women at ASU -- and it’s working. Since its conception, the CSW strategic plan has implemented a number of significant remedies which can be seen and felt across ASU. For more information on the progress of the Strategic Plan, including remedies put into effect over the 2002-2003 academic year, see our Progress Update.