Taben Hale, PhDis living her grandmother’s dream.
dr. Hale, an associate professor of basic medical sciences and director of Women in Medicine and Science at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, said her grandparents wanted to be a modern Marie and Pierre Curie.
“My grandmother went to college in the 1940s and got a degree in biology,” said Dr. hale. “She started a master’s degree in biochemistry because she wanted to become a scientist. My grandfather was a chemist. He told me after she passed away that their dream was to be like the Curies, the science couple.
“But shortly after my grandmother started her master’s degree, she became pregnant with my father. And that was it. She had to quit the program. Because that’s what you did then.”
Today, Dr. Hale has her own laboratory that studies cardiovascular disease, and teaches pharmacology and physiology to medical students and graduate students.
Based on sex
When President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law on June 23, 1972, the purpose of labor law was to protect people from gender discrimination in educational programs or activities that receive federal aid.
In most people’s minds, Title IX is closely associated with women’s sports – the force behind the worldwide dominance of the US Women’s National Soccer Team or the women Olympic athletes in basketball, track and softball. But the law continues to have a major impact on colleges and universities far beyond the playing field.
At the University of Arizona, the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) serves as a resource for Title IX and related matters, including any prohibited discrimination under the university’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
Mary Beth Tuckervice president of equities and title IX, said she encourages members of the university community to visit the OIE website for more information about the university’s commitment and OIE’s services, including information on reporting, processes, support and training .
Then and now
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, women, regardless of their degrees, were not hired, paid, or promoted like men. At that time, women couldn’t even get a credit card or loan in their own name.
Marion Slack, PhDProfessor Emerita of Pharmacy Practice at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, said that after earning her undergraduate degree in pharmacy from the University of Kentucky in 1969, she applied for several jobs. “I was applying for a job at the time and since graduating I had given birth to a daughter. I had a hard time finding a job because they wouldn’t take a woman with a kid.
“They said things to me like, ‘We wouldn’t give you a job because you’re married and have a kid, and you’re just going to quit in a short time.’ And the irony of it is that in one of the places I interviewed, they hired a guy and about eight months later he quit.”
Although there are more women in academic positions today – 45.3% of UArizona faculties are women – problem areas still exist. A recent new scientist A survey found that the gender pay gap in STEM areas in the United States widened from 12% in 2021 to 17.5% in 2022, partly as a result of women taking on more caring responsibilities and gaining ground. lost at work due to the pandemic.
Fighting Rules of Nepotism
In the early 1970s, the UArizona campus was very different from today. In addition to fewer buildings and students, almost every college’s faculty back then was also very different — mostly made up of white males.
“They would say things to me like, ‘We wouldn’t be interested in giving you a job because you’re married and have a kid, and you’re just quitting in a short time.'”Marion Slack, PhD
One woman who tried to change that was Shirley Fahey, PhD, who obtained her PhD in social psychology from the University of Florida in 1964. dr. Fahey was hired in 1970 as an assistant professor of psychiatry at the College of Medicine – Tucson and remained at the university until retiring 30 years later as a professor and the associate dean of admissions.
During her tenure, she chaired the American Association of University Professors and led successful efforts to revise the university’s nepotism guidelines, including an anti-nepotism rule then rife in colleges that banned women who married men with faculty appointments from hiring. in faculty positions.
dr. Fahey, who was also a founding member and the first president of the Tucson branch of the National Organization for Women, died in 2003.
“I think we live in a world of equal opportunities today,” said Hina Arif-Tiwari, MD, fSAR, vice chairman of clinical affairs and chief of abdominal imaging at the College of Medicine – Tucson. “That said, women’s faculties of medicine and science still face challenges and need support to reach their full potential and get to where they want to be. Without Title IX, I really don’t think we would have the number of women in medicine that we see now.
“We are reaping the rewards of the hard work of frontrunners of the Title IX movement of the 1970s, which has brought us where we are today,” added Dr. Arif-Tiwari to it. “While we find some gender inequalities, we really don’t feel the discrimination as much as women did back then.”
The next 50 years
drs. Arif-Tiwari and Hale both said ensuring women are eligible for and promoted to leadership roles could define the next 50 years of Title IX.
“We’re in a much better place now thanks to the equal opportunity Title IX offers,” said Dr. Arif-Tiwari. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of women going to medical school over the past few decades. And right now it’s over 50%.
“However, fewer women go into residency after completing medical school, and then those who go into subspecialties, such as surgery or radiology, are much smaller. In leadership positions such as presidents and deans, the ratio of women to men decreases significantly. So there are hurdles and challenges that women entering the medical field still face in their journey.”
for dr. Hale’s entry into academic medicine marked the era following the implementation of Title IX that when she was recruited to UArizona Health Sciences, she could pause her tenure and not be penalized for taking maternity leave for her two children.
“I can certainly recognize that it is easier today than it was 20 years ago, 40 years ago, 50 years ago. I think that’s the idea – that I didn’t have to choose between being a mother and researcher and faculty member. I like both aspects of my life. And I couldn’t imagine one without the other.”
Something her grandmother would appreciate.