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The Provost’s Office and the Trustees Council of Penn Women have established an award to recognize community members for efforts that help female faculty advance in the workplace.

Applicants — who can be both male and female — will be judged by a selection committee of six faculty members representing a variety of Penn’s schools and disciplines within them. Deans, department heads and center directors can make nominations, as can faculty members themselves.

The winner, chosen based on the contribution he or she made to the advancement of female Penn faculty, will receive $5,000.

Qualifying achievements can range from increasing the presence of women in fields in which they are traditionally underrepresented to improving the environment for female faculty at Penn.

As Melanie Katzman, co-chairwoman of advancement of women faculty for TCPW, explained that the award is intended to be positive, not punitive, by promoting best practices.

She said the award was introduced following concern that women are not represented at the highest level on the Penn faculty.

“The Gender Equity Report documented an increase in the number of women making it to tenure level, but also the ‘leaky pipeline’ through which women are not making it to the level their male counterparts would have been at,” she explained.

She pointed out that the award is one of the two highest offered by the University.

“It celebrates some of the best values of Penn,” she said, adding that it displays a “true commitment to diversity on all levels.”

Provost Vincent Price wrote in an e-mail that his office was “quite pleased to be partners in this effort, which extends and complements our other important faculty development efforts.”

He added that “the award is new, but the emphasis isn’t” and that it “goes together with a new Faculty Women’s Forum, which should aid in advancing cross-school networking and faculty mentorship.” The Forum will hold its first session on Oct. 1 with School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rebecca Bushnell.

Bushnell will be moderating a discussion for tenured female faculty planning the next stage of their careers.

She praised the new award for its focus on leaders who have contributed to the scholarly and professional development of women at Penn.

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