We are proud to announce 84 (and counting) people have registered for AAPT eAlliances!

Resource Room


getting-started

You have let our matching software find you four (or so) other people, you’ve exchanged a few emails, and now you are thinking of meeting in person. And wondering what to do with these four to get your eAlliance started.

Because of the matching software on our database, you know that all of you have some important issues in common. Some of you may have met, or even know each other well, but it’s unlikely that you are all acquaintances. Here are some hints to get you started.

Give this project a chance to be helpful. We know how busy you are, but make a commitment to your eAlliance–make your virtual and actual meetings a priority, and give it some time to develop before you decide not to participate.

Read and take to heart our “best practices” suggestions.

Mutual mentoring can really only work if all participants respect each other and encourage full participation of all group members. Each eAlliance will develop a set of ground rules for their own cohort, but there is a set of common standards that all cohorts should embrace. In any group there will be differences and conflicting opinions, but the core value of a successful mentoring cohort is one where all group members listen as carefully and conscientiously as they speak. All cohort discussions should be treated with the utmost of confidentiality and all group members should treat each other with care and concern as they undertake the mission of supporting and encouraging each other.

  • Plan your meeting at a professional conference, but come an extra day early or stay late, so you are not constantly interrupted by sessions that someone wants to attend, or friends that want to meet with you. Good choices are a general or sectional APS meeting, AAPT, NSBP, or NSHP.
  • Eat your meals together. This may seem odd at first, but it does create an informal atmosphere that is conducive to developing a good basis for trust.
  • Be open with your co-eAlliance members. Be honest about your problems and issues, and try to avoid competition. Of course your discussions should be absolutely confidential.
  • Be honest about work/life balance. Most women physicists experience problems with balance, and your eAlliance can be more helpful if they understand the full picture.

  • Once you’ve had a face-to-face meeting to get to know each other, plan to meet virtually on a regular basis–every other week works well.
  • To give yourselves something to discuss, you might begin by reading a relevant book. Every Other Thursday, by Ellen Daniell, describes a mutual mentoring group that has met for twenty five years. In addition to being inspirational, she brings up many topics that you might find useful to talk about. Motherhood: The Elephant in the Laboratory, edited by Emily Monosson, describes the issues faced by many women combining motherhood with a scientific career, and may be useful for women in a similar situation. A biography of a woman scientist might also be something to discuss.
  • It might be useful to choose a facilitator who is responsible to keep the conversation moving and be sure everyone has a chance to speak. Rotate this position so you don’t anoint a leader.
  • Be sure to give everyone a chance to talking in each meeting. Give each other advice and support without being judgmental.

  • Once your eAlliance gets rolling, you may want to work together on a project. You could plan to give a joint talk at a meeting, or write a paper to encourage others to find ways to organize a mutual mentoring group. It might be particularly useful to reach out to groups that are not covered by our eAlliances.
  • You might also consider organizing outreach or mentoring groups on your own campuses. You can support and encourage each other in these endeavors.

References

  • Blaha, Cindy, Bug, Amy, Cox, Anne, Fritz, Linda, and Whitten, Barbara, “Why does Mentoring End?” In Karukstis, Kerry, Gourley, Bridget, Rossi, Miriam, and Wright, Laura, eds., Mentoring Strategies to Facilitate the Advancement of Women Faculty. ACS Symposium Series, 2010.
  • Cox, Anne J., Blaha, Cindy, Fritz, Linda, and Whitten, Barbara. “For Female Physicists, Peer Mentoring Can Combat Isolation,” Scientific American blog, 2014. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/for-female-physicists-peer-mentoring-can-combat-isolation/
  • Daniell, Ellen, Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists. Yale University Press, 2008.
  • Karukstis, Kerry, Gourley, Bridget, Rossi, Miriam, and Wright, Laura, eds., Mentoring Strategies to Facilitate the Advancement of Women Faculty. ACS Symposium Series, 2010.
  • Lederman, Muriel, LaBerge, Ann, Zallen, Doris. 1994. “Mutual Mentoring: The Women and Science Publication Support Group.” Gates 1:26-31.

Note: There is a huge amount of literature on diversity in physics. These are a small number of works that we have found particularly useful.

  • Atherton, Timothy J., Barthelemy, Ramon S., Deconinck, Wouter, Falk, Michael L., Garmon, Savannah, Long, Elena, Plisch, Monica, Simmons, Elizabeth H., and Reeves, Kyle “LGBT Climate in Physics: Building an Inclusive Community,” American Physical Society, College Park, MD, 2016.
  • Ivie, Rachel, and White, Susan, “Is There a Land of Equality for Physicists? Results from the Global Survey of Physicists,” Physics in Canada, September 2015, https://www.aip.org/statistics/reports/there-land-equality-physicists.
  • Ivie, Rachel, Anderson, Garrett, and White, Susan, “African Americans & Hispanics among Physics & Astronomy Faculty: Results from the 2012 Survey of Physics & Astronomy Degree-Granting Departments,” July 2014, https://www.aip.org/statistics/reports/african-americans-hispanics-among-physics-astronomy-faculty-0.
  • Ivie, Rachel, White, Susan, Garrett, Arnell, and Anderson, Garrett, “Women among Physics & Astronomy Faculty: Results from the 2010 Survey of Physics Degree-Granting Departments,” August 2013, https://www.aip.org/statistics/reports/women-among-physics-astronomy-faculty.
  • Ivie, Rachel, and Tesfaye, Casey Langer, “Women in physics: A tale of limits,” Physics Today, February 2012, https://www.aip.org/statistics/reports/global-survey-physicists.
  • Monosson, Emily, ed., Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory: Women Scientists Speak Out, ILR Press, 2010.
  • Moss-Racusin, Corinne A., Dovidio, John F., Brescoll, Victoria L., Graham, Mark J., and Handelsman, Jo, “Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students,” PNAS, 109, pp. 16474–16479, 2012.
  • Pollack, Eileen, The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys Club, Beacon Press, 2015.
  • Wennerås, Christine, and Wold, Agnes. “Nepotism and Sexism in Peer Review.” Nature 387: 341-343, 1997.
  • Blau, Francine, Currie, Janet, Croson, Rachel, Ginther, Donna “Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Profesors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial.” American Economic Review. 100(2), pp. 348-52, 2010.
  • Boyle, P., & Boice, B., “Systematic mentoring from new faculty teachers and graduate teaching assistants,” Innovative Higher Education, 22(3), 157-179.
  • Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP), Gender equity: Strengthening the physics enterprise in universities and national laboratories. http://aps.org/programs/women/workshops/gender-equity/upload/genderequity.pdf
  • Cox, Anne J., Blaha, Cindy, Fritz, Linda, and Whitten, Barbara. “For Female Physicists, Peer Mentoring Can Combat Isolation,” Scientific American blog, 2014. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/for-female-physicists-peer-mentoring-can-combat-isolation/
  • Daniell, Ellen, Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists. Yale University Press, 2008.
  • Karukstis, Kerry, Gourley, Bridget, Wright, Laura, and Rossi, Miriam (co-PIs). (2006). NSF PAID-ADVANCE initiative, “Horizontal Mentoring Alliances to Enhance the Academic Careers of Senior Women Scientists at Liberal Arts Institutions.”
  • Nolan, Susan, Buckner, Janine, Marzabadi, Cecilia, Kuck, Valerie, “Training and Mentoring of Chemists: A Study of Gender Disparity,” Sex Roles 58: 235-250.
  • Pollack, Eileen, The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys Club, Beacon Press, 2015.
  • Wennerås, Christine, and Agnes Wold, “Nepotism and Sexism in Peer Review,” Nature 387: 341-343.
  • Blau, Francine, Currie, Janet, Croson, Rachel, Ginther, Donna, "Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial.” American Economic Review (May 2010): pp. 348-352.
  • Boyle, P., & Boice, B. “Systematic mentoring from new faculty teachers and graduate teaching assistants.” Innovative Higher Education, 22(3), 157-179, 1998.
  • Daniell, Ellen, Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists. Yale University Press, 2008.
  • Karukstis, Kerry, Gourley, Bridget, Wright, Laura, and Rossi, Miriam (co-PIs). NSF PAID-ADVANCE initiative, “Horizontal Mentoring Alliances to Enhance the Academic Careers of Senior Women Scientists at Liberal Arts Institutions,” 2006.
  • Nolan, Susan, Buckner, Janine, Marzabadi, Cecilia, Kuck, Valerie. “Training and Mentoring of Chemists: A Study of Gender Disparity,” Sex Roles 58: 235-250, 2008.