Ignoring a problem rarely makes it goes away. This goes for aggravated bees, pneumonia and social inequalities (among other things).
However, acknowledging a problem exists won’t solve anything, either. You have to actually take action.
“The Ripple Effect” website was created as a resource for women on campus, covering issues such as university policy regarding maternity leave, health benefits and other services on campus. Which sounds great, except those things already existed elsewhere. While the idea of a one-stop spot for this information is appealing, the site overall seems like a highly publicized attempt to create the impression of creating change without actually doing so.
The intention is good, and the fact President Tony Frank put Vice President of University Operations Amy Parsons on the task is a step in the right direction, but there’s little actual substance on the site. At the heart of the issue, however, it’s sad that we still, in the year 2013, need women’s resources on-campus. They’re helpful and necessary, but the fact that women still haven’t achieved full equality both in policy and practice is disappointing at best.
These problems can be subtle, like different expectations of different genders within the workplace, or quietly granting more men tenure than women. There are well-intentioned people perpetuating these issues, too; they’re not necessarily setting out to keep women under their heel, but rather subconsciously subscribing to stereotypes they’ve been fed their whole lives. The point isn’t to apportion blame; it’s to spark change.