ADVANCE: Moving Beyond Boundaries

Moving Beyond Boundaries to Promote Inclusive Faculty Success is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the ADVANCE program and is designed to promote success for women and underrepresented minority faculty in our campus NSF-supported fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) sciences.

Demographic data, climate study results, and input from focus groups were used to identify two key equity and inclusion challenges here at Marquette University: 1) Recruiting women and underrepresented faculty effectively from limited candidate pools, and 2) Improving diversity climates at the department level.


Diversity Climate Study: Executive Summary Excerpt

Read the full Climate Survey report. 

Download the full Executive Summary.

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This study had two main goals:

1) Examine differences between women and men faculty members on work experiences, campus-wide and departmental-level diversity climate perceptions, and outcome variables for faculty overall and the ADVANCE populations of STEM and SBE (social behavioral and economic sciences) faculty and

2) Examine the mediating role of diversity climate facets (equitable practices, integration of differences, and inclusion in decision- making) on several outcome variables including turnover intentions, employee engagement, belongingness, and emotional exhaustion.

Key Findings

  • Women have substantially poorer workplace experiences than men. For faculty overall, STEM faculty, and SBE faculty women reported significantly lower levels of work experiences, campus-wide and departmental-level diversity climate perceptions, and outcome variables.
  • Women of color reported poorer workplace experiences than all men and white women. For faculty overall, women of color reported significantly lower perceptions of organizational diversity climate than other groups.
  • Women full professors reported poorer workplace experiences than men at all ranks and women at the assistant and associate levels.
  • Department-level diversity climate matters. Faculty reports of three facets of department-level diversity climate (i.e., equitable practices, integration of differences, and inclusion in decision-making) related to lower levels of turnover intentions and emotional exhaustion, and higher levels of employee engagement and belongingness.
  • Work experiences drive shared perceptions of department-level climate. The work experiences that predict the shared perceptions of department-level climate include organizational support for work-life balance, career support, value perceptions, experienced incivility, and gender bias.




The broader impact of this ADVANCE project will be to create systemic institutional change that will underpin an increase in the number of women faculty and other underrepresented groups, their professional success, and the diversity of Marquette University STEM faculty. An important broader impact of the proposed project will be creation of an environment that enables all members of our STEM community to thrive, thereby enhancing the educational experience of our faculty and students and strengthening our contribution to the STEM talent pipeline. Our long-term goal is creating institutional change that will improve faculty success in all areas of campus.

Learn More...


Through ADVANCE we will be providing training seminars, speakers and department specific activities based on the needs and goals of each department. We will be working with and leveraging existing programs and partners at Marquette as well as other successful ADVANCE programs at institutions across the country. We will have the opportunity to look closely at the climate study data and what it means for your department.

Funds will be made available through ADVANCE for sending faculty representatives to attend meetings where women and diverse graduate students and postdocs are presenting their work. Additionally, supplementary travel funds will be made available for faculty to attend break-out sessions and meetings focused on the promotion of women and minorities within their own discipline specific conferences.


Moving Beyond Boundaries will:

  • Develop a culture of continuous and collaborative approaches for equitable and inclusive faculty recruiting.
  • Improve understanding and gain insight into the ways intersecting identities affect faculty experience in order to implement strategies for improving department climate. 

                A Marquette student

The ADVANCE Program at Marquette University is supported by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program award 1936148,“Moving Beyond Boundaries to Promote Inclusive Faculty Success.” The funding runs from October 1, 2019 - September 30, 2022.    


Dr. Jax Sanders

ADVANCE Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Jax Sanders is an assistant professor of physics at Marquette. They design subsystems for gravitational wave interferometers and work to design new detectors to expand the scope of the new field of gravitational wave astronomy. 

Learn more about Dr. Sanders here.