Pippert and his researchers looked at more than 10,000 images from college brochures, comparing the racial breakdown of students in the pictures to the colleges’ actual demographics. They found that, overall, the whiter the school, the more diversity depicted in the brochures, especially for certain groups.
"When we looked at African-Americans in those schools that were predominantly white, the actual percentage in those campuses was only about 5 percent of the student body," he says. "They were photographed at 14.5 percent."
Sent in response to my boss’s “Merry Christmas” email
I work online teaching new faculty to teach online for a public college in a part of the Midwest with deep Bible Belt roots. My boss sent a “Merry Christmas” email to all of our online faculty who are scattered across the country, and even a few outside the country. This was my response.
Your cheerful holiday wishes — while undoubtedly well-intentioned — ignore the diversity among our online faculty. I know from personal experience teaching nearly 200 new online faculty at our college that our faculty come from a variety of cultures and perspectives. I have taught many Christians, but I have also taught Jews and Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucians, Wiccans, humanists, and atheists. While my courses are secular, the people who take these courses are encouraged to be open about themselves to create a genuine human presence in an online setting, and in that process they often reveal part of their cultural background, sometimes including their religious or spiritual affiliations. I am inspired by this, reminded that one of the wonderful things about online education is that it opens us all up to a much wider world of experience than we might otherwise encounter in our everyday lives. This is a valuable thing for us as educators and for students at our college. I am sometimes concerned that the college and its leadership have a blind spot with regard to diversity that prevents them from recognizing its inherent value in education. That’s what crosses my mind when I see holiday wishes expressed that invoke mainstream traditions without also being fully inclusive. At a public college like ours, and especially in an online program such as ours that has a broad reach beyond the immediate geographical and cultural region, it is my hope that we can recognize and encourage diversity through greater sensitivity to the full spectrum of human experience that our faculty represents.
Sincerely wishing you and your family a joyful holiday season.
I watched today’s introduction of Apple’s new iPad, and I couldn’t help wondering:
Apple, where are the women?
Out of more than a dozen presenters from Apple and its developers, none were women.
Oh, there were many women represented in the photos and videos used to demonstrate Apple’s nifty new technology, but they were all silent actors, there to pretty up the demos just like the exotic flowers and lush landscapes. Women were portrayed as mothers or students, and only occasionally were they even shown using the device. Even the voice-overs on the iPad video and the TV ad were male voices.
I would expect women are a large segment of Apple’s customer base for the iPad and most of its other products. You wouldn’t know that from today’s parade of Apple’s senior executives and product managers, and its geekiest app developers. Maybe this has more to do with the fact that this was a product introduction. I certainly can’t remember off the top of my head any significant differences in any previous Apple events. It is pretty certain that most other technology companies are no better than Apple in this respect. Apple may even have a good record for diversity in its employment practices. I don’t know.
Then again, take a look at Apple’s top executives: people named Tim, Eddy, Scott, Jonathan, Bob, Peter, Phil, Bruce, Jeff. Or look at their board of directors: Arthur, William, Tim, Millard, Albert, Robert, Ronald … and, oh yes … Andrea.
Shouldn’t one of the largest companies in the world — a company worth more than Microsoft and Google combined — shouldn’t it be held to a higher standard?
Yesterday, March 7, was Apple’s iPad introduction.
Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day.
This might be a good day to tell Apple what you think of its new iPad.