Task Force on the Status of Women at Trinity Advances Gender Equity and Inclusion

Iqra Athar ’26

News Editor

Last month, Trinity College introduced its first lactation lounge, now located in Trinity Commons Room 146. Utilizing the LITC system for reservations, the space is enhanced with artwork by the Nest Artists. This significant addition is the result of collaborative efforts by the President’s Task Force on the Status of Women, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Women and Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC), Human Resources and Facilities. The establishment of the lactation lounge reflects the task force’s expressed commitment to creating an inclusive and family-friendly campus environment.

In September 2019, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney convened the President’s Task Force on the Status of Women at Trinity, co-chaired by Sarah Raskin, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Laura Lockwood, Director of WGRAC. The task force’s formation marked a pivotal moment in the college’s history, aiming to examine the progress made since the onset of coeducation 55 years ago and to advance the goals outlined in the college’s strategic plan known as Summit. This plan aspires to position Trinity as a first-choice institution by fostering an inclusive community that embraces diversity and complexity.

Under the guidance of its Senior administrative liaison, Dr. Anita Davis, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the task force collaborates with various campus leadership and governance groups to achieve its outlined goals. The task force has already made notable strides in promoting gender equity on campus. These advancements include the installation of 80 menstrual product dispensaries on the first-floor restrooms across campus, support for programs aimed at increasing faculty of color hires and the creation of a Title IX office with a full-time coordinator. Moreover, the task force has advocated for the addition of BIPOC and LGBTQIA counselors at the Counseling and Wellness Center, further emphasizing its dedication to creating a welcoming campus for all.

In an interview, co-chairs Raskin and Lockwood emphasized the task force’s approach to addressing gender equity issues. “Our work is guided by a vision shared by the President and all members of the task force. We continually analyze data through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion, focusing on the intersectionality of individuals’ identities,” Lockwood said. Raskin added, “We are actively responding to students and their suggestions, working closely with other offices on campus, such as the QRC and Title IX office, to make Trinity a safer and more inclusive environment.”

Despite these advances, the task force acknowledges the ongoing challenges in achieving full gender representation and equity on campus and emphasizes that its benchmarks for success include equitable representation across all campus sectors, a safe environment free from harassment or assault and equitable salaries and benefits. The task force supports organizations like the Trinity College Women’s Athletic League (TWAL) and TrinSurvivors, advocating for comprehensive campus inclusivity.

The task force continues to welcome new members from the Trinity community, encouraging those interested in contributing to their efforts to reach out. The task force currently operates through three subcommittees, each dedicated to specific areas of concern. These include the Student Internship Committee, a new subcommittee focusing on research topics such as the “chilly climate” towards women and leadership; the Safety Committee; and the Family Friendly Committee.

As Trinity College continues to celebrate 55 years of coeducation and, this month, Women’s History Month, the task force’s work is far from complete. “There’s still a long way to go for women, the queer community and people of color on our campus,” Lockwood said.

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