The Women Faculty Forum hosts an annual Fall Opening Reception every September. This year, we held a virtual event on September 15th to welcome new and returning faculty to an unprecedented year on campus. President Peter Salovey gave remarks about the future of gender equity at Yale, while Provost Scott Strobel spoke about the current childcare crisis and how it is impacting the very nature of faculty work at the University. Our guest speaker, Dean Nancy Brown of the Medical School, highlighted the ways in which we can become more proactive in preventing inequities and solidifying parity gains in faculty promotions.
Afterwards, the reception was divided into four “breakout rooms” or discussion panels:
(1) a social meet and greet led by WFF’s Chair, Naomi Rogers;
(2) a discussion about the gendered struggles of Covid-19 led by Professor Emma Zang;
(3) a talk about the importance of approaching equity through an intersectional lens, with co-hosts Professor Cindy Crusto and WFF Chair-Elect, Reina Maruyama;
and (4) a chat about how Covid-19 has transformed the now virtual “classroom” and traditional pedagogy.
In all four panels, faculty had the opportunity to hear from their colleagues about the pressing issues facing faculty, staff, and students at the University and nation-wide, and to discuss how the pandemic has made efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusivity all the more challenging.