Women in lab

Status of Women

The UNH President's Commission on the Status of Women was established Feb. 15, 1972, to explore conditions and attitudes within the university relating to the mobility and functional equality of women, and to encourage movement toward the goal of full participation of women.

Forty years later, the UNH President's Commission on the Status of Women continues in its mission to create equal educational and employment opportunities for all UNH women by promoting an environment free of sexism and discrimination, through policy, advocacy and education.


A summary of the general status of women on this campus follows:

Much progress in the status of women in higher education has been made since 1972.

The commission continues to focus on the following concerns:

  • Most women still major in traditionally "female" fields and prepare for traditionally "female jobs," despite a marked increase in the number of women in medical, law, and graduate schools.
  • National research indicates women undergraduates feel less confident about their preparation for graduate school than men attending the same institution.
  • National research indicates women experience a decline in academic and career aspirations during their college years.
  • Women's salaries in academe remain lower than those of men with comparable training and experience. Nationally, female academics earn about 85 percent of the salary earned by their male counterparts.

Only about 10 percent of full professors nationwide are women and fewer than six percent of UNH full professors. The higher the rank, the more prestigious the institution or discipline, the fewer the women.

Consistent efforts to achieve equality remains absolutely crucial if men and women on campus, studying or working side by side, are to achieve similar educational and employment experiences.

If you have questions about this site or suggestions of what to add, or if you have questions about the UNH President's Commission on the Status of Women, please let us know.

The mission of the President's Commission on the Status of Women is to insure that UNH creates equal educational and employment opportunities for women of the UNH community, promoting an environment free of sexism and discrimination through policy, advocacy and education.  The commission achieves its goals by recommending policies that improve the status of women and ensure an environment of equal education and employment opportunities for women to the President and the Associate Vice President of the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity.

The Commission will collaborate and develop alliances with existing organizations and governance structures within the university community including the Community, Equity and Diversity Advisory Council for the purpose of promoting an environment free of sexism and discrimination.  They will also seek to inform the university community of the status of women on the UNH campus by collecting and disseminating data, initiating and supporting educational outreach programs, and by providing informational and educational programs and materials to help women on the UNH campus develop their skills, continue their education, and increase their networking opportunities.

The Commission was established in February 15, 1972, to explore conditions and attitudes within the University of New Hampshire, relating to the mobility and functional equality of women.

Members of the UNH Women's Commission

Candidates for membership are recommended by the Commission and appointed by the UNH President and the Associate Vice President for Community, Equity and Diversity office.

2017-2018 Women's Commission Membership

  • Joanne Maldari, Co-Chair, Associate Athletics Director of Academic Support
  • Jill Varney, Co-Chair, Business Manager, Institute on Disability
  • Rebecca Barton, Undergraduate Student
  • Jennifer Borda, Associate Professor, Dept of Communication
  • Amy Boylan, Associate Professor, Classics Humanities & Italian Studies
  • Carolyn Gamtso, Assoc Prof. Library and Media Services, UNHM
  • Emily Kyker-Snowman, Graduate Student
  • Jade Caines Lee, Assistant Professor, Dept of Education
  • Joyce Lekien, Undergraduate Student
  • Sini Lessard, Senior Asst Director of Admissions, UNHM
  • Hannah Mathieu, Undergraduate Student
  • Deryka Nairne, Residence Hall Director, Residential Life
  • Sydney Phelps, Undergraduate Student
  • Meghan Stark, Ph.D. candidate Molecular, Cellular Biomedical Sciences
  • Margaret Quick, Undergraduate Student

Ex-Officio Members

  • Amy Culp, Director, SHARPP
  • Kimberly Persson, Project Director, Institute for Health Policy and Practice (Healthy UNH rep)
  • Donna Marie Sorrentino, Director, Affirmative Action and Equity Office
  • Sylvia Foster, Educational Program Coordinator, Office of Community, Equity and Diversity
  • Janice Pierson, Administrative Coordinator, Office of Community, Equity and Diversity

Historical chronology of Women on UNH Campus from 1890-2002


News & Announcements


  • brain with clouds of text

    Tackling Implicit Bias in STEM

    Tackling Implicit Bias in STEM

    Negative stereotypes invade our thoughts and actions every day, even when we believe they are wrong. How can we reprogram our unconscious mind and use conscious strategies to overcome these biases? Join a panel of diverse women in STEM, social scientists, and feminist scholars for an intersectional discussion of how implicit bias affects us and our community. More info

  • Jane Stapleton

    Jane Stapleton

    Jane Stapleton, co-director of UNH's Prevention Innovations: Research and Practices for Ending Violence Against Women, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) June 2014. Her testimony was part of a full committee hearing looking at sexual assault on college campuses.