We asked a dozen women and minority graduate students and faculty at UC Berkeley (ARE, Econ, and Haas) about their experiences and suggestions for wannabe allies. Here, we've compiled their suggestions for advising equitably.
Please note that these resources do not necessarily reflect the views of WEB. The intention is to hold an inclusive space for ongoing discourse. We thank the authors for sharing suggestions gathered from their interactions with students and faculty who have had identity-specific experiences in academia that obstruct their productivity. We welcome any feedback, additional contributions, comments, or questions on these issues. Please feel free to e-mail the authors or WEB directly.
- Remember, representation matters. Since many women and minority students cannot have advisors who know what they are going through, seek to understand their experience in a non-judgmental way. Show empathy and become an ally and agent of change.
- Communicate to your woman/minority students that you are an ally, and that you are open to feedback on how you’re doing as an ally.
- Reflect and ask yourself—do I treat my men and women advisees differently? Am I more accessible to men than women?
- If you want to have off-campus casual meetings with your students, ensure women and students of color are included in these activities as well. Group activities are a great way to do this, as it avoids placing any students in uncomfortable one-on-one situations off-campus.
- Create informal water-cooler type information sessions for ALL students. Don’t engage in gossip. It may be more difficult for women and students of color to learn about the “goings-on” of the department—so make sure they are included.