The Future is Female: Embracing Intersectionality and Leadership in Evaluation

Session Number: 1296
Track: Feminist Issues in Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: equity, Feminist Evaluation, future of evaluation, Leadership
Session Chair: Kathleen Doll [Evaluation Consultant - Claremont Graduate University]
Presenter 1: Kathleen Doll [Evaluation Consultant - Claremont Graduate University]
Presenter 2: Libby Smith, M.S. [Project Manager - ARC Evaluation & Program Director - MS Applied Psychology - ARC Evaluation - University of Wisconsin-Stout]
Presenter 3: Nina Sabarre [Founder & Principal - Intention 2 Impact, LLC]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Brittany Hite [Senior Associate Evaluator - Claremont Evaluation Center]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Haley E Umans [Student - Claremont Graduate University]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Natalie D Jones [Claremont Graduate University ]
Time: Nov 15, 2019 (08:00 AM - 09:00 AM)
Room: Hilton Marquette VII

Abstract 1 Title: Emerging Female Evaluators As the Future of Evaluation

Presentation Abstract 1:

Female evaluators in the early stages of their careers constitute a distinct subset of women within the field of evaluation. The intersection of age, experience level, and gender cultivate a unique climate, brimming with challenges and opportunities. This presentation expands upon findings from an ongoing mixed methods study that indicates women in the early stages of their evaluation careers encounter a novel set of experiences. By leveraging the voices of the next wave of female evaluators, this presentation explores challenges and opportunities faced by emerging female evaluators, strategies employed to address these circumstances, the value of the emerging female evaluator, and new directions for the future of evaluation.

Abstract 2 Title: Identity & Intersectionality and the Emerging Female Evaluator
Presentation Abstract 2:

This presentation expands upon findings from an ongoing mixed methods study on women in evaluation that presupposed women apply a gendered lens to their work. Study results quickly revealed the complexity of this issue as individual evaluators also view their work through race, culture, age, and class lenses. Additional recent scholarship on cultural responsiveness in evaluation practice revealed few evaluators are actively engaging with this issue. As such, the current presentation shares findings from phase two of the mixed methods study, exploring how emerging female evaluators experience their various identities within their work and how they practice intersectional analysis and cultural responsiveness. If the future is female, can we count on emerging female evaluators to bring an intersectional lens to their work?


Abstract 3 Title: Changing the Status Quo Through Authenticity and Authority

Presentation Abstract 3:

Despite being the increasing majority of the American Evaluation Association since 2001, female evaluators are significantly more likely to doubt their expertise compared to men. According to an AEA member survey from 2015, 70% of males rated their evaluation knowledge and skills as “advanced or expert” compared to less than half of females (49%). Nonetheless, women are currently at the helm of leadership positions within the association and evaluation consulting businesses. This presentation highlights gender differences from a 2018 survey exploring the “imposter phenomenon” among evaluators to understand the conditions that cause women to discount their accomplishments and how they have learned to cope with persistent doubts. Qualitative findings from an ongoing study build upon these findings to explore the potential implications of humility among female leaders in the field of evaluation and beyond in an effort to change the status quo.

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

This panel continues the timely and relevant conversation about gender dynamics within the field of Evaluation that took place at The Rise and Grind of Women panel session from AEA 2018. Authors will present research from a continuing mixed methods study that examines the experiences of emerging female evaluators, intersectionality, and women embracing their unique leadership abilities. Leveraging the voices of a diverse sample of female evaluators, the first presentation explores challenges and opportunities faced by emerging female evaluators and new directions for the future of evaluation. The second presentation investigates intersectionality and how the next wave of evaluators is addressing cultural responsivity in their work. The final presentation examines female evaluators’ perceptions of their leadership capacity, and the vulnerabilities that often accompany it. This lively discussion will use data to illustrate the interwoven stories of women in evaluation and illuminate the female future of the profession.