Gender Discrimination at George Washington University
I came across a job announcement for Program Coordinator for US and International Politics at GWU’s Elizabeth J Somers Women’s Leadership Program via an email from the Chronicle of Higher Education. While I’m qualified to teach in the fields and the campus is just down the road from me, I get the idea that I’m not quite what they’re looking for.
Program Coordinator Responsibilities: The program coordinator (PC) for each cohort is responsible for the academic, administrative and co-curricular aspects of the program that she leads and working with the other program coordinators for integrating Women’s Leadership Program offerings and activities in order to enhance the academics experiences of all students in these programs. The PC, in her administrative capacity, is responsible to the Director the Elizabeth J Somers Women’s Leadership Center and, through her, t the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the MVC of the George Washington University. In her capacity as a faculty member, she works with and through her home department and school. Other duties include:
Advising: The PC serves as chief academic mentor and guide to the students in her program, and as the official academic advisor to those of her students who are enrolled in the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences. The PD is responsible for insuring that all her Columbian School students receive the materials, information and instruction from the CSAS freshmen advising workshop by the end of the fall term. The PC is also responsible for coordinating with, and supporting, the academic advisors for students enrolled in the other schools of the university.
Academic Administration: The PC is normally expected to design and teach the core academic course(s) of the program, or to help design and staff them, and to work with the University Writing faculty to develop the appropriate content for sections of WLP20 and UW20 linked to the program. The PC is responsible for organizing the symposium series tied to the program. This consists of a series of at least four speakers, or special focused activities, each semester. Working with her ‘home’ department(s), the PC oversees and coordinated all academics aspects of the program to ensure that the core course(s), the discussions led by the GTA, the Humanities (WLP20) and Writing (UW20) courses, the symposia series and the co-curricular activities are working synergistically , and to ensure that all those involved are aware of the program objectives and are working together to fulfill these goals. The PC also meets regularly with the Director of the Elizabeth Somers Center and the other program coordinators to coordinate particular co-curricular activities and speakers, and to explore areas for inter-program collaboration and intersecting. This committee also meets with the Associate Dean to ensure a united effort to build a strong academic presences and community on the Mount Vernon Campus.
Emphases added. Later, the ad notes that a “basic qualification” is “evidence of commitment to women’s leadership,” that “Special preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate experience in . . . mentoring of undergraduate, female students.” Do you think maybe they’re thinking of hiring a woman for this position?
Now, given the nature of the position, it might make perfect sense to hire a woman. The Program consists (presumably) of nothing but young female undergraduates and emphasizes woman’s leadership. From both a student comfort and mentoring standpoint, a female prof/adviser may be the best choice.
I can’t help but think, though, that GWU would be hesitant to be so blatant in advertising they they wanted only male candidates for a position.