Report on the Status of Undergraduate Women at MIT, February 2016


The purpose of this report is to provide an extensive overview on the status of undergraduate women at MIT.

The findings are supported by data from the MIT Office of Institutional Research, focus groups, and the Undergraduate Experience Survey, a survey implemented specifically for this report.

We hope that the findings of this report and its recommendations will guide administrators, faculty, students and staff in implementing policies and programs at MIT to create a supportive community for all genders.

Caroline Chin ’16
Kamilla Tekiela ’16

From the Institute Community and Equity Officer (ICEO), Ed Bertschinger:

Amazing things happen at MIT when all of its students, staff and faculty have the opportunity, encouragement, and resources to learn and do their best. As problem-solvers, we relish learning means to optimize this outcome. Our tradition of critical self-evaluation and improvement has spurred many changes that have helped to make MIT a better place for everyone. This report is for undergraduate students what A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT and the Report on the Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity were for faculty. It deserves to be widely read and referenced as a guide to helping MIT better achieve its mission.

Since I began on the faculty, the percentage of female undergraduates has nearly doubled. The current report shows that achieving gender equity requires more than numbers; it requires continual attention to community and culture in our classrooms, labs, and living groups. Emphasis here is on continual: MIT is not a bubble, but is part of a society and world that struggles with inequality. Our mission to advance knowledge and educate students extends to preparing them, and all of us, to empower people of every race, gender, and other social identity.

The Status of Undergraduate Women at MIT by Caroline Chin and Kamilla Tekiela provides valuable data and recommendations to help MIT lead among universities, not only in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship, but in the empowerment of its whole community to best serve the nation and the world.