Times of change are notorious for creating chaotic situations for employees and management in which bias can run unchecked (Riek, Mania, & Gaertner, 2006). Implicit bias is more likely to manifest itself when individuals do not have time to think their decisions through (Duncan, 1976; Hilton & Von Hippel, 1990; Jacobs & Eccles, 1992; Rothbart & Burrell, 1977; Sagar & Schofield, 1980), and when evaluation criteria is unclear (Fiske & Taylor, 1991). During periods of rapid transition in institutional identity, both of these situations commonly occur. Thus, increases in gender and racial inequality may be an unintended byproduct of organizational change, if not addressed directly.
As Villanova is already experiencing inequality in how women, particularly women of color, are hired and advanced through the STEM faculty ranks, it is likely that the transition in institutional identity will exacerbate the situation. It is critical that specific attention be paid by the University to diversity and inclusion issues during the transition as these issues directly impact faculty scholarly productivity. This will ensure that intersectional gender bias (including issues with workload, service expectations and tokenism) is not cemented into the new processes and that, instead, inclusive and equitable evaluative behaviors and criteria are normative within the new and evolving organizational structures and policies. At the same time, it is critical that the faculty develop skills which allow them to manage stress during a time of shifting expectations and be able to use these skills to advance their careers.