In September 2019, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney convened the Task Force on the Status of Women at Trinity. Twenty-seven people answered the open invitation sent to the campus community to participate on the task force. The task force met four times during the course of the semester to analyze and interpret data provided by the Office of Data Analytics and to formulate a recommendations report, which includes three overarching statements of principle and corresponding recommendations for each issue.
The purpose of the task force was to examine progress made during the last 50 years since the beginning of coeducation at Trinity College and to advance the goals of our strategic plan, Summit, to be a first-choice institution for students, faculty, and staff by fostering “an inclusive campus community that embraces diversity and complexity and engages across differences with integrity and empathy.” By embedding gender equity into the charters, policies, and practices of Trinity College and its governance committees, the task force aims to create a more welcoming campus environment for the future.
The three key principles that emerged, listed in order of concern to the task force members, are:
- There should be fair and equitable salaries, workload, and benefits for faculty and staff and equitable outcomes for students at Trinity College;
- Everyone should feel safe in all spaces on Trinity’s campus; and
- Trinity College should support inclusive, family-friendly policies.
There is little doubt that progress has been made during the last 50 years to improve gender equity and to create a more inclusive environment at Trinity College. It also is clear that there is more work to be done to reach our goals. To ensure progress on gender issues at Trinity, the continuation of the task force is recommended, in addition to specific recommendations outlined in the report. Under the direction of co-chairs Sarah Raskin and Laura Lockwood, reporting to the vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion, task force members will monitor gender equity issues, hold groups accountable to respond to the prescribed recommendations, and provide an annual progress report to President Berger-Sweeney.
We aspire to a time when a task force on the status women is not necessary because its goals are included in the ongoing work of the college. We look forward with hope that Trinity will become the inclusive environment that it aspires to be.