The Center for Women and Work (CWW) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is a vibrant community of scholars – representing diverse disciplines – who are dedicated to the Center’s mission to:
• Advance knowledge about the relationship between gender and work through research.
• Enhance understanding of this relationship through education and training.
• Challenge inequalities, particularly through institutional change.
Since its inception in 1998, the Center for Women and Work (CWW) has demonstrated its strong commitment to addressing the gendered conditions of work in several key ways: by designing and implementing research and action projects that foster new ways of thinking about the gendered conditions of work, by encouraging and supporting interdisciplinary exchanges, by promoting understanding of alternative methodologies, and by bringing to the forefront the reciprocal relationship between women's work and the well-being of communities.
The Center for Women and Work has a synergy with elements of the unique mission of the
University of Massachusetts Lowell, including promoting sustainable regional economic and social development and fostering diversity. CWW is acutely attuned to the negative impact of gendered work conditions, and we believe that fully productive and sustainable societies are not possible as long as workplace and economic barriers for women remain. CWW not only promotes research on how workplace dynamics and opportunities vary by gender but also seeks to understand the intersections with race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and disability status.
The specific goals for each of CWW’s strategic priority areas as are follows:
1. Advancing Knowledge – i.e., to promote research and scholarship that will advance our understanding of the relationship between gender and work.
• Sponsor a focused set of innovative research projects that work toward greater gender equity and healthier work lives for women.
• Promote creative linkages across disciplines and support a network of scholars engaged in interdisciplinary projects on women and work.
• Support grant-writing within this network.
• Disseminate CWW scholarship to local, regional, national, and international audiences.
2. Enhancing Understanding – i.e., to further intellectual inquiry about issues related to women and work among students and to support the professional development of a cohort of junior scholars able to generate their own scholarship on women and work.
• Enhance understanding of women and work issues through educational programs and community forums.
• Develop a curriculum plan for students wanting to gain expertise in the gendered conditions of work.
• Support student involvement in CWW projects on women and work.
• Support the general professional development of women at UMass Lowell.
3. Challenging Inequalities - i.e., to seek remedies for gender-based inequality in the workforce through disseminating information and promoting institutional change, including within our own institution.
• Foster an institutional culture that supports women's advancement within our university.
• Share information on issues related to women & work with the university and community.
• Promote partnerships between university and community members for addressing gendered working conditions and other concerns for working women.
• Provide organizational consultation & technical assistance to local, regional, and national groups.
Principal StaffLeadership Team
Meg A. Bond, CWW Director & Professor, Department of Psychology (sabbatical)
Mignon Duffy, Acting Director & Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Laura Punnett, Senior Associate & Professor, Department of Work Environment; Director, Center to
Promote Health in the New England Workplace
Paula Rayman, Senior Associate & Professor, Department of Sociology
Judith Davidson, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education
Monica Galizzi, Professor, Department of Economics
Michelle Haynes, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Andrew Hostetler, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Sarah Kuhn, Professor, Department of Psychology
Saira Latif, Assistant Professor, Department of Management
Cheryl Najarian, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Katherine Rosa, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing
Jana Sladkova, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Robin Toof, Co-Director, Center for Family, Work, & Community
Yi Yang, Assistant Professor, Department of Management
Susan Moir, Director, Labor Resource Center, UMass Boston
Imogene Stulken, Protestant Campus Minister
Susan Thomson, Evaluator, Germaine Lawrence Center
Susan Winning, Director, UMass Lowell Labor Extension Program
Moriah Aponte Serrano, Undergraduate Student Intern
Darcie Boyer, CWW Program Manager
Lindsay Jean Casavant, CWW Program Manager
Allison Fahey, Undergraduate Student Intern
Michelle Holmberg, Healthy Diversity Project Director
Maria McDuffie, Graduate Assistant, Department of Psychology
Jaye McLaren, Graduate Assistant, Department of Psychology
Johana Reyes, Graduate Assistant, Department of Psychology
Rachel Robb, Undergraduate Student Intern
Michelle Thompson, Undergraduate Student Intern
Projects & Campaigns
Supporting a lively community of scholars to advance scholarship about women and work. During 2010-11, there are 11 Associates and 4 Senior Associates who represent diverse disciplines (psychology, sociology, economics, ergonomics, public health, management, nursing, and education). The Associates Program is the heart of CWW as it is our primary vehicle for advancing and enriching a wide range of scholarly research projects related to women and work.
Conducting interdisciplinary research to understand and document the status of carework and conditions for care workers in Massachusetts. The Carework Project is a collaboration between UMass Lowell CWW, UMass Boston and UMass Amherst. This work has been funded by two grants: A seed grant from the Provost’s office (2007) on “Building a Care Movement in MA” and a Creative Economy Grant through the UMass President’s office (2008) to produce a report on “Taking Care: The Costs and Contributions of Care Work in Massachusetts.”
Healthy Diversity Project
Investigating the challenges that Community Health Centers (CHCs) face in recruiting, developing, and promoting diversity among staff; and identifying promising organizational policies and practices for addressing the challenges. The project is funded by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (2010) and by a seed grant from the Provost’s Office (2010-11).
Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
Leading several interconnected projects related to promoting women in STEM fields.
• Project Working WISE: An NSF-funded project that brought together scholars from diverse disciplines and different generations in order to foster dialogue among leading experts regarding workplace factors associated with women's success in STEM fields. The Project originally centered on a 2007 working conference. The resulting recommendations are summarized in an edited conference volume.
• ADVANCE Grant Development Team: Working with inter-university group to develop a proposal for an institutional change grant from the National Science Foundation. The goals will be to break down barriers and enhance supports for women at UMass Lowell, who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
• Thinking with Things: Remaking Learning in Higher Education and Beyond: An NSF-funded project that is exploring the implications of embodied cognition for learning and teaching at the college level, with a particular focus on computer science education.
IDEA Communities Initiative (IDEA stands for ‘Interdisciplinary Exchange & Advancement’)
Facilitating and documenting the development of interdisciplinary groups designed to enhance mentoring of underrepresented groups and support for innovative scholarly work at UMass Lowell. Each IDEA Community involves a small group of faculty and other affiliated researchers from a variety of departments and colleges who share interests around a common topic and who agree to make a commitment to support one another’s scholarship. The IDEA Communities are modeled after CWW’s successful Associates Program. The initiative is facilitated by the Center for Women & Work, overseen by an interdisciplinary Steering Team, and funded by the Office of the Provost.
Feminist Methods and Qualitative Research Supports
Providing education and support for all researchers at UMass Lowell in the use of nontraditional research methods, including feminist and qualitative approaches. We provide workshops and technical support for the use of NVivo software, and, in collaboration with the UMass Lowell Qualitative Research Network (QRN), are initiating an NVivo Fellows Program to expand the campus capacity to support qualitative research technologies.
Emerging Scholars Program
A new Emerging Scholars Program will provide students with a unique year-long opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge gained from courses at the UMass Lowell, while also making a practical contribution to a faculty member’s research on topics related to women and work. Students who participate will gain valuable research experience and build on their classroom learning. The faculty participants will have the opportunity to mentor a young researcher as well as acquire assistance with their own research.
‘Diversity in the Workplace’ Graduate Certificate
Ongoing oversight of an interdisciplinary graduate course of study on workplace diversity.
Annual Gathering at the Well Forum
Sponsoring an annual form on current issues related to women and work. The Gathering at the Well Forum is an opportunity for residents of the greater Lowell region to gatherwith UMass Lowell faculty, staff, and students to discuss common concerns. Animportant aspect of our mission as a center is to create links between our university andthe community, and our forum has become one important way that we are able to realizethat goal.
Working Papers Series
Supporting an on-going working papers series as a venue for CWW Associates to disseminate the findings of their research. The papers include technical reports, literature reviews, and empirical papers.
Student involvement in CWW projects
Supporting student involvement in all aspects of CWW through participation in research projects, work on CWW events, and involvement in forums for discussion of general professional development issues.
Voices of Working Women of UML (VOWW)
Partnering with the UMass Lowell Labor Extension Program to support all women employees of the university. We collaborate to sponsor an annual luncheon where women gather and share concerns, as well as to initiate projects to improve our work lives at the university.
Merrimack Valley Compact
Collaborating with the UMass Lowell Office for Equal Opportunity and Outreach to establish a Merrimack Valley Affiliate of the Commonwealth Compact, a statewide initiative to “to make Massachusetts a location of choice for people of color.” The inaugural meeting of the regional Merrimack Valley Compact was in December 2010.
Childcare at UMass Lowell
Convening a group of faculty and staff to explore and promote possible approaches to providing childcare to UMass Lowell faculty, staff, and students.
$tart $mart Workshops
Collaborating with Evelyn Murphy’s WAGE (Women are Getting Even) Project and the UMass Lowell Office of Career Services to offer annual workshops for women students on how to benchmark the current salary for the job they want after graduation and how to negotiate to get that salary.
Women’s Works: A Celebration of Women’s Creativity
Sponsoring an annual event to celebrate the many artistic talents of UML women. This event is part craft fair, part art show, part performance art, and large part fundraiser for CWW. One of the most important impacts of this annual event is that it builds community among UMass Lowell women across departments, ranks, and job titles.