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On this day in 1993, Toni Morrison accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature, making her the first and only African American woman to win a Nobel Prize in any category. Importantly, this issue reaches beyond women authors of color to the broader underrepresentation of women of color in academia as a whole.
While there are more women in higher education now than ever, many occupy the lowest paid positions. Women currently make up about one third of all tenured professorships; yet, for women of color this percentage drops to less than 8%. At the highest level of the university system, only 5% of university presidents are women of color, compared to one third of women presidents overall.
This Take Action Tuesday, take action towards the equal representation of women of color in higher education.
- Check The Facts. Take a look at the broad body of research that exists on why diversity and inclusion are so important in education, and learn to recognize the many barriers women of color face.
- Hold Institutions Accountable. Check in with your college or alma mater to see how it stacks up on the representation of women of color in leadership and tenure track positions. Ask what actions are being taken to improve access to these roles.
- Read Women of Color. Pay attention to who is on your bookshelf, and spend some time reading and supporting works written by women authors of color.
How are you taking action on equal representation in academia? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.