Bringing the Men Back In: Catalyzing Gender Equality at Universities Through Advocates & Allies


  • Kristen Myers Department of Sociology, East Carolina University
  • Stephanie George Department of Engineering, East Carolina University
  • Allison S. Danell Department of Chemistry, East Carolina University
  • Andrew T. Morehead Department of Chemistry, East Carolina University



Women in STEM, Gender structure, Allyship, Structural change, Universities


The United States’ National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE program awards funding to universities to improve gender equality in the faculty ranks in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Our team at East Carolina University is using our award to educate men in the university about implicit and explicit gender bias and how they can and should use their power to help disrupt these systems. The program, adapted from other universities with past NSF ADVANCE funding, is in its infancy at our university, but there are initial signs of progress. This essay analyzes early data, grounded in sociological theories of gender so as to understand and make progress on structural change in our academic institution. The timeline for action and initial outcomes, including three specific scenarios, are presented. A discussion regarding the impact of the program and how it can be expanded and strengthened is also presented. We reflect on gendered tensions, and explore the limitations of “bringing men in” to correct structural power imbalances that have disproportionately benefitted them.


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How to Cite

Myers, K., George, S., Danell, A. S., & Morehead, A. T. (2023). Bringing the Men Back In: Catalyzing Gender Equality at Universities Through Advocates & Allies. Sociologica, 17(2), 37–57.