Commission Status Women Faculty

Investigation of the status of women faculty @ EPFL

The report is now ready and can be downloaded here

The EPFL Direction has approved the creation of a Commission on the Status of Women Faculty at EPFL. This commission was created in response to the findings of a survey launched by the ETH Women professors Forum that highlighted concerns about the work environment at EPFL as well as about the handling of grievances. The EPFL Direction is committed to ensuring that the work environment at EPFL is welcoming to all. This is an important part of the campus culture and the hallmark of a leading university with a highly competitive and diverse workforce.

Hence, the commission will conduct a comprehensive study of the faculty experience at EPFL (for men and women), will identify any salient issues, and will make appropriate recommendations to be implemented by the EPFL management. The work of this commission is aimed at further enhancing the quality of the work environment at EPFL and at continuing to raise EPFL’s attractiveness to prospective students and faculty.

The Commission’s work is divided in two parts. The first part entails gathering data on numerous aspects relevant to professors (from salary, resources to teaching and grievances filed). The second part is a series of interviews of women and men professors to be conducted by Prof. Eric Davoine from the University of Fribourg. The data collected and the interview results will be combined to generate a report and recommendation. There have been delays in the collection of data. The report is now expected to be completed in late 2019, early 2020.

Below, you will find the dates of the meetings:

  • June 25th: The report is completed. It is currently being formatted by a graphic designer and will be available here next week.

  • COVID-19 update: because of the lockdown, remote teaching and homeschooling, process has slowed down. The report is now planned for early June.
  • March 10th: The commission discussed the final recommendations and the first draft of the report. It will be finalized by the end of March.
  • December/ January: At the beginning of the December, all EPFL faculty members were invited to take part in one of several focus group sessions scheduled for  in January 2020. Based on the registrations, four focus group sessions were organised, among which one for faculty members in leadership positions. Following the presentation of the main findings, participants rated and commented on the 26 recommendations. Arguments for and against the recommendations were then discussed.
  • December 10th: 7th meeting. The commission discussed and adopted the executive summary of results from the qualitative investigation to be presented to the focus groups. The commission also discussed the recommendations issued from the qualitative investigation, resulting in a list of 26 recommendations to be discussed in the focus groups.
  • November 12th: The committee validated the report based on the qualitative interviews. Results of the quantitative analysis were discussed, with the exception of a few quantitative results that are still being analysed. A separate meeting has been scheduled (December 10th) to discuss recommendations. The conclusions of the qualitative and quantitative investigation and recommendations will then be presented to focus groups (scheduled for January, to be announced after Commission Meeting No. 7)
  • October 3rd: Fifth meeting. The transcription and approval of interview transcripts is almost complete and the results were presented. The quantitative data that had undergone statistical evaluation were presented as well. The next meeting is planned to include the entire dataset and will serve to plan the focus groups.
  • June 20th: Fourth meeting where a summary of the status of quantitative data collections and well as of the interviews was provided.
    The first sets of data were presented. The statistical analysis of the data was discussed.
  • April 10th: Third meeting and discussion of details of the dataset to be collected. The selection of women interviewees is complete. The men interviewees are being identified.
  • March 5th: Second meeting and discussion of the criteria for the selection of women interviewees as well as the questions that will be asked. Furthermore, the data to be collected and how to go about collecting those data were discussed
  • January 24th: first meeting and discussion of the type of data to be collected as well as initial discussion on the criteria for the selection of women professors to be interviewed.

We will regularly update this webpage to inform you about the commission’s progress. We’re looking forward to receiving your questions and comments.

Commission Chair
Member until September 2019
Data Analysis