CSU Needs to Step Up Appointment of Women

California State University has a gender diversity problem: Only 6 Presidents currently serving in the 23-campus system are women, or 26 percent.

Given the low numbers of women, it’s baffling why the CSU Trustees recently appointed a white man to serve as President of CSU Sacramento – a 63-year-old, cowboy-boot-wearing Texan.

And while a woman President will assume an interim role at San Jose State in mid-August, her appointment will not boost the numbers beyond her one-year tenure.

Consider these stark numbers about current leadership in the CSU system:

  • Two Asian men lead campuses, but not a single Asian woman.
  • Male Latino CSU Presidents outnumber Latinas 5 to 1.
  • Twice as many white (8) and African American (2) men serve as CSU Presidents, compared to the number of white (4) and African American (1) women.

Since the first State College was founded in San Jose in 1857 (the CSU system was created in 1960), only 16 of the 182 Presidents, or just under 9 percent, have been women.

Ten of the 23 CSU campuses have never had a woman president – including the prominent, and some might argue more prestigious campuses based in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Luis Obispo – and Sacramento.

There’s a better track record since CSU Chancellor Timothy White took office in late 2012, but a significant gender imbalance remains.

Should we care?  Absolutely.

College Presidents help set the intellectual agenda, control access to resources, mentor mid-career leaders, and represent their universities in their communities.

The dynamics of these responsibilities play out differently when women and people of color are at the helm – not in every instance, but often enough to open doors to new leaders, establish new issues as legitimate for inquiry, and build new pathways of dialogue and commerce with business and community groups.

So – what to do?

First, make diversity a top priority.

Until the CSU system reaches gender and ethnic parity, the CSU Trustees and Chancellor need to use every appointment to reach their diversity goals.

In Silicon Valley – where sex discrimination, sexual harassment and the representation of women in science, technology and engineering need increased attention – the appointment of a permanent woman President at San Jose State would have far-reaching impact.

Secondly, make better use of interim appointments.

Consider this missed opportunity:  When the President of CSU Chico took a medical leave earlier this year, a 70-year-old white man was appointed acting President. Chancellor White heralded the interim leader as providing a “seamless transition.”

But what if a woman had been given the reins, even for a short duration, and described as “an up-and-comer,” a “future president”?  What if the background and vision of a Latina had been acknowledged as inspirational to thousands of first-generation college students?

Interim appointments can do more than ensure a campus bureaucracy is well managed:  They can break barriers and help build resumes and experience for women and people of color.

Finally, no excuses.

If the State of New York can reach near parity for appointments of state college Presidents, California should certainly keep pace.

Twenty-one campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) function like those in our CSU system – and 10 of the 21, or 48 percent, are headed by women – nearly double the 26% here in California.

There’s no way around it.  Faced with the same national pool of candidates for potential college Presidents, higher education leaders in the Empire State are out-hustling leaders in the Golden State.

It’s time for the CSU Trustees and Chancellor White to step up their commitment to diversity – and appoint more women from all backgrounds to serve as college presidents in the CSU system.


Recommended citation:  Karpilow, Kate. CSU Needs to Step Up Appointment of Women. July 23, 2015.  California Center for Research on Women & Families: http://ccrwf.org/csu-needs-to-step-up-appointment-of-women/

Please send comments and corrections to karpilow@ccrwf.org.

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The Full Participation Report — #NotThereYet

Only 5% of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies are women.  Comedian Jenny Slate calls this “a lot of wasted pantsuits.”

Ms. Slate joined with Amy Poehler, Sienna Miller, Padma Lakshmi and Carmen Diaz in a short video that kicked off the release of The Full Participation Report, produced by the No Ceilings initiative of the Clinton and Gates foundations.

Yesterday in New York, the heavy hitters took the stage: Chelsea Clinton, Melinda Gates, and Secretary Hillary Clinton. Watch the proceedings here.

Or check out the twitter conversations using the hashtag #NotThereYet.

The Full Participation Report compiles data on the progress of women throughout the world on a broad set of indicators – laws and policy, education, health, economic status, civic participation and more. The timeframe is 20 years – the 1995 starting point set by the 4th UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to 2015.

In her introduction, Melinda Gates explains why the report is more than an info feast for nerds: “Data is knowledge and knowledge is power. . . the power to help women and girls build a better future.”

Another powerful point is made by Chelsea Clinton, who with this initiative fully takes the international stage as a public intellectual and change agent:

“That while we’ve made great progress over the last 20 years, we’re just not there yet when it comes to gender equality – and that’s just not good enough.”

And finally — my vote for one of the most touching moments from the proceedings that included the Presidents of Liberia and Croatia. Secretary Clinton completed her remarks, and then turned the program back to her daughter:  “So . . . let’s start.  Chels?”

Chelsea responded: “Thanks, Mom.”

The Full Participation Report.  Watch it. Read it. Share it.


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CCRWF Partnership Launches #HowICare at 2015 Women’s Policy Summit

In September 2014, CCRWF proposed a partnership with the California Work and Family Coalition to increase public awareness of California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program.

  • What if the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit could be a launch pad for a social media campaign on PFL?  What could we accomplish by tapping into the power of the 500 California leaders who would attend?
  • And would it be possible to commission a new Field Poll on the current level of public awareness of PFL? We knew that 43% of Californians were aware of PFL in 2011 – but had the numbers gone up or down?

It’s a testament to the power of partnerships that we made all this happen!

Not only did we raise funds for a new Field poll on public awareness of PFL (recently mentioned in a New York Times article!), more than 500 California leaders at the Women’s Policy Summit committed to a new social media campaign, #HowICare.

By signing on to #HowICare, Summit participants promised to send five messages by email, Facebook or Twitter to friends, family and colleagues to raise awareness of PFL.

Tweeters include California Speaker of the State Assembly Toni G. Atkins and state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.

Click here to access the sample email, tweets and FaceBook post.  And please consider signing on to support #HowICare.

The results of the Field Poll were sobering – and a call to action. The number of California voters who know about California’s Paid Family Leave Program declined in the last four years from 43 percent to 36 percent, just over one in three voters.

The Field Poll also found the decline in awareness of PFL was greatest among ethnic voters, women, and those with no more than a high school education.  Read the poll’s complete findings here.

This means many people are forced to choose between caring for their loved ones or paying the bills—and don’t know they have another option that would help them.

The Field poll was commissioned by CCRWF in partnership with the California Work and Family Coalition, with additional funding contributed by Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, California Legislative Women’s Caucus, Equal Rights Advocates and AARP-CA.

For additional information on California’s Paid Family Leave program, go to www.paidfamilyleave.org.


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Policy Papers & Video Links Now Available for 2015 Women’s Policy Summit

The 2015 Women’s Policy Summit, hosted by CCRWF, was held on January 14, 2015, at the Sacramento Convention Center, convening over 500 California policy leaders.

A central mission of the Summit is to work with leading advocates to prepare and release priority recommendations at the start of the legislative session — all focused on advancing the health, wealth and power of women and girls.

Below are links to the policy recommendations and other materials released at the Summit.

Click here to access the videos for each session, provided by The California Channel.


Women, Poverty and Economic Empowerment
Leading advocacy organizations will release their priority recommendations to help women and their families rebound from the Great Recession with jobs and benefits that help them thrive.

How can California’s welfare system (CalWORKs) offer strategic and effective support for low-income families? What other recommendations related to workforce development, wages and education make sense at the start of a new legislative session?

Opening Remarks & Moderator

Senator Holly J. Mitchell

Policy Partners
Recommendations on CalWORKs
Jessica Bartholow, Advocate
Western Center on Law and Poverty

Recommendations on Child Care
Mary Ignatius, Statewide Organizer
Parent Voices

Recommendation to Increase California’s Minimum Wage
Judy Patrick, Director of Public Policy
Women’s Foundation of California

Recommendations to Limit Abuses of the E-Verify System
Ronald Coleman, Government Affairs Manager
California Immigrant Policy Center

Recommendations to Protect & Build Assets Among Women-Headed Households
Prepared by the California Reinvestment Coalition, Western Center on Law and Poverty & California Asset Building Coalition

Women, Working Families and the Workplace
What additional workplace supports are needed to help parents and caregivers manage both work and family obligations? What next steps would make California’s child care system more responsive to working families? This plenary will be a fast-paced session that showcases priority legislation, releases new survey results from The Field Poll – and uses the power of our assembled leaders to launch a statewide Paid Family Leave Awareness Campaign.
Opening Remarks & Moderator
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
Policy Partners

Recommendations for Working Parents and Caregivers
Sharon Terman, Senior Staff Attorney
Director, Work and Family Program
Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center

Recommendations to Promote Predictable Scheduling
Jenya Cassidy, Project Director
Work and Family Coalition, Next Generation

Recommendations to Close California’s Gender Wage Gap
Noreen Farrell, Executive Director
Equal Rights Advocates

Recommendations on Child Care & Child Care Provider Wages
Tonia McMillian, Co-Chair
Raising California Together

Just 36% of Voters Aware of State’s Paid Family Leave Program
Mark DiCamillo, Senior Vice President and Director of the Field Poll
Field Research Corporation


Keynote Speaker

The Honorable Toni G. Atkins
Speaker of the California State Assembly
Keeping the California Dream Alive
for Women and Working Families
Click here for the video link.

Introduced by Assembly Member Cristina Garcia

Women’s and Girls’ Health in California: A Statistical Overview
California’s Office of Health Equity – with input from the CCRWF Women’s Health Advisory Committee – is releasing a chart book of statistics on women’s and girls’ health, rich with data from all of California’s diverse communities.

Where have we made progress? What are the red flags for policymakers and service providers? Be among the first to learn how this statistical profile can inform policy and practice.

Policy Partner

Women’s Health in California: A Statistical Overview
Developed with input from the Women’s Health Advisory Committee of CCRWF
William Jahmal Miller, Deputy Director
Office of Health Equity, California Department of Public Health

Addressing Human Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Girls
How can we work together to decrease domestic violence and sexual assault? What are the next steps to provide more services to victims of human trafficking? And what local policies and programs have proven effective in efforts to prevent violence against women and girls? Join us as top leaders identify strategies for 2015 and beyond.

Policy Partners

Recommendations on Funding for Rape Crisis Centers
Sandra Henriquez, Executive Director
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Recommendations on Addressing Domestic Violence
Krista Niemczyk, Public Policy Manager
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

Recommendations to Fund Direct Services for Victims of Human Trafficking
Kay Buck, President and CEO
Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking

Rose Herrera, Councilwoman, City of San José
President, League of California Cities Women’s Caucus

Closing Remarks
Senator Kevin de León

Senate President pro Tempore


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CA Title IX Coalition Releases Report for Legislative Hearing on Landmark Law

The California Title IX Coalition today is releasing recommendations (Results & Recommendations from Nine Local Assessments) to increase implementation of Title IX in school districts throughout the state.  Based on local assessments of high schools conducted by 9 community teams, as well as input of Title IX Coalition members, five recommendations will be presented at a state Senate Judiciary Committee informational hearing: Attaining Equal Opportunity for Girls in California’s Secondary Schools: How our Schools are Complying with Title IX.

The California Title IX Coalition is convened by CCRWF and includes AAUW-CA, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Equal Rights Advocates, and California Women’s Law Center

The Top 5 Recommendations offer guidance to implement the federal law’s mandated requirements.

The Senate Judiciary hearing was organized at the direction of Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, the chair of the committee and chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.  Senator Jackson successfully authored SB 1349 in 2014. Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, this new law will require information on athletic participation, broken down by gender, to be posted on school district websites.

The California Title IX Coalition report makes 5 Top Recommendations:

Statewide Responsibility for Implementation of Title IX

1.     To provide local school districts the knowledge and tools to implement Title IX, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the California School Boards Association should collaborate to offer bi-annual trainings, model policies, templates for communications, and other best practices.

Local Responsibility for Implementation of Title IX

2.     The Superintendent in every school district throughout the state should ensure, prior to the start of each school year, that a Title IX Coordinator is identified and trained – and clarify if the Coordinator’s responsibilities are district-wide or if they will be working with Title IX Coordinators assigned in each school. Superintendents should require schools to prominently post on their websites contact information for their Title IX Coordinators and also provide contact information in bi-annual notices to administrators, teachers, staff, students and parents.

3.     Each local school board should hold an annual meeting to evaluate the status of Title IX implementation for their district, using the Title IX Compliance Check List or other systematic evaluation instrument. The focus of the local evaluations should be data-based and action-oriented, providing an opportunity for school board members to assess compliance and set objectives for implementation.  At minimum, the evaluation should focus on the Title IX Coordinator, athletics, sexual harassment, and pregnant and parenting teens.

4.     Superintendents and local school boards should ensure that schools offer optimal training of administrators, staff, and teachers, and that parents and teens are notified of the schools’ Title IX policies, practices and complaint procedures.

Responsibility for Oversight

5.     The California Legislative Women’s Caucus, in partnership with the Education and Judicial Committees in both the State Senate and State Assembly, should hold an annual oversight hearing to ensure that the California Superintendent of Public Instruction and local school districts are moving forward to implement Title IX.

The goal of the Coalition’s work is to bring a stronger focus on implementation and to provide school districts with the model policies, templates, tools, and trainings they need to successfully open up doors and opportunities for girls and young women throughout California.

For more information about the California Title IX Coalition, email karpilow@ccrwf.org.

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Just 36% of Voters Aware of State’s Paid Family Leave Program

CCRWF joined with the Work and Family Coalition to commission questions on a Field Poll on Paid Family Leave awareness in California.

Slightly more than one in three California registered voters (36%) reports being aware of the state’s Paid Family Leave Program, that provides up to six weeks of paid family leave for eligible workers. This proportion is down from 43% who said this in a similar Field Poll completed in June 2011.

While awareness of the program declined across nearly all major voter subgroups, particularly large declines were observed among ethnic voters, voters with no more than a high school education, and women.

For complete findings, go to http://www.field.com/fieldpollonline/subscribers/Rls2494.pdf

The poll questions were funded by contributions from Next Generation, CCRWF, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Equal Rights Advocates, and AARP-CA.


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