The MIT Report and other key documents

This excerpt from the MIT Faculty Newsletter shows the famous introductory remarks that Pres. Charles Vest made in commending the Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT to the MIT faculty in 1999:

President Charles M. Vest: I commend this study of Women Faculty in Science to all of my faculty colleagues. Please read it, contemplate its messages and information, and act upon it personally and collectively.


I learned two particularly important lessons from this report and from discussions while it was being crafted. First, I have always believed that contemporary gender discrimination within universities is part reality and part perception. True, but I now understand that reality is by far the greater part of the balance. Second, I, like most of my male colleagues, believe that we are highly supportive of our junior women faculty members. This also is true. They generally are content and well supported in many, though not all dimensions. However, I sat bolt upright in my chair when a senior woman, who has felt unfairly treated for some time, said "I also felt very positive when I was young."


We can take pride in the candor of dialog that these women have brought to this issue and in the progress that we have made, but much remains to be done. Our remarkably diverse student body must be matched by an equally diverse faculty. Through our institutional commitment and policies we must redouble our efforts to make this a reality.1


The full texts of the reports can be read here.

A statement from Nancy Hopkins on the Gender Equity Project can be read here.

For an assessment of lessons learned, see Lotte Bailyn, (2003), Academic Careers and Gender Equity: Lessons Learned from MIT. Gender, Work & Organization, 10: 137–153. doi: 10.1111/1468-0432.00008.




1. Pres. Charles M Vest, "Preface,” MIT Faculty Newsletter, Vol. XI, No. 4, March 1999. (