Document Type



University of Maine

Publication Date


Publisher location

Orono, Maine

Abstract/ Summary

The major findings of the Task Force on the Status of Women are summarized in the following pages in two parts. In the first we respond to our charge to review data concerning the current status of women in relation to their numbers, distribution, retention, compensation, advancement, and representation at all levels. The evidence here consists primarily of information the University routinely collects and analyzes; the data are reasonably complete and accurate. They also indicate clearly the presence of barriers to the full participation of women in the life of the University.

In the second part we present evidence bearing on the organizational structures and organizational values that erected and continue to maintain those barriers, in response to our charge to study the processes and climate affecting the status of women at the University. We describe an environment in which women tend to play only marginal or subsidiary roles; a system of values in which those interests more exclusively oriented towards men and activities more exclusively dominated by men are consistently more positively valued and more highly rewarded; and a climate in which women, most of whom diverge from norms defined by the experiences of men, are less likely to flourish. Although we address the need for more comprehensive data collection and analysis in several of our recommendations, we believe that the strength of the evidence justifies a range of recommendations for organizational change.

We do not include in this summary a review of the scholarship or the expert consultation that has convinced us that certain practices are detrimental or that certain strategies for revising those practices are more promising than others. However, we have prepared and will distribute upon request a partial list of sources consulted. We would welcome opportunities to discuss our findings and our recommendations with members of the University community.


Social Justice_President's Office_UPub-3-6-1-SWU-1988


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