It is important to mentor women and members of minorities to
be prepared for graduate studies. Bridge programs can be helpful.
We recommend encouraging self-confidence of graduate
students to counteract the "I shouldn't be here" feeling some of them have.
One way to do this is to hold a graduate student forum where students make
research presentations and develop a sense of community. We also recommend
mentoring grant writing for graduate students, so they will be better
prepared to make successful grant applications when they graduate. In
particular, we heard that students felt they benefited by going through the
process of applying for some graduate funds that had become available.
There should be paid maternity leave for graduate students
It would be helpful to have funds to provide daycare and
cleaning services for graduate students.
Eligibility for postdocs should consider family
responsibilities; for example, the candidate may be required to be within 2
years of completing the PhD, or 5 years if they have been caring for a
There should be a flexible tenure clock paired with
flexibility in evaluating scholarly activity.
The number of women invited speakers and women receiving
awards should be increased. This might be achieved by encouraging women and
sympathetic men to get on selection committees (by, for example, organizing
AMS/CMS sessions). It is also important a larger group of women be invitied
speakers, rather than the same ones over and over.
Other granting agencies should follow NSERC's lead in allowing research funds to provide travel for a nursing mother's child or childcare for a single parent traveling to a conference.