Chancellor Mike Bishop presented this year's
Chancellor's Award for the Advancement of Women to Irene Agnos, assistant vice chancellor
of University Relations; Katie Barnes, a fourth-year student in the School of Pharmacy and
Nancy Milliken, associate clinical professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology
and reproductive sciences.
At a ceremony last week, the recipients thanked their families, friends and colleagues
for helping them achieve success.
Agnos said her brother former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos prompted her interest in
sports and politics and passion for public service. "My favorite lesson from Art was
his way of describing the role of an assertive public servant. He said that you have to
have a linebacker's eyes with a Peace Corps heart," she told the audience in a
crowded Toland Hall.
Agnos is credited with overseeing the expansion and development of the UCSF Center for
Gender Equity, which recently created the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resources
Program. Outside UCSF, she is recognized for helping women and children whose lives are
devastated by abuse through her work with San Francisco's nonprofit Family Violence
Prevention Program. Agnos hopes the Center for Gender Equity will be empowered to tackle
this social ill by offering training on campus.
"We know domestic violence doesn't stop when a victim leaves home and comes to
work," Agnos said. "UCSF needs to join other large employers that recognize that
providing training programs for managers and supportive policies for victims is good for
both the institution and the employee. I know this campus can be a role model for the UC
system and in doing so we can positively influence the lives of women who work for our
Agnos said UCSF has come a long way in advancing women, but that there is still room
"From my view the climate for women staff at UCSF is a good one. But an
institution like UCSF, which is great in so many ways, needs to continue to strive to
create a great working environment for women that is free from discrimination and
inequities. I know Chancellor Bishop and his executive team have the commitment to make
that a priority and strive to achieve that goal for our campus."
Barnes is recognized in part as the founder of the Women's Health Organization (WHO), a
registered campus organization dedicated to providing women's health information,
promoting awareness and serving as a resource on campus and in the community.
Milliken, director of UCSF's National Center of Excellence in Women's Health, is
recognized for developing women-focused clinical, educational, and research programs at
UCSF. She also is credited for mentoring and promoting faculty and staff women into
leadership positions. She has been instrumental in public outreach and education through
her participation and leadership in the annual women's health symposium, which this year
drew more than 500 to the campus.
"What began as a grassroots effort at UCSF has emerged as a powerful force for
change in women's health," Milliken said of the nationally-recognized center.
"This would not have been possible without the collaboration, hard work and passion
of the folks in the trenches. It would not have happened without our community
collaborators: Jackie Speier, Mount Zion Health Fund, advocacy groups and many
individuals, some of whom are in the audience today. Nor would it have happened without
the support of the leadership of the institution, Mark Laret, Haile Debas and Mike
Milliken agrees that more must be done to help women succeed in academic medicine.
"The future is bright for women's health at UCSF, but there remain challenges for the
advancement of women at UCSF. Under the leadership of Diane Wara and others, we have a
history at UCSF of measuring the status of women and finding solutions for the identified
Milliken also mentioned the vital work of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the
Status of Women (CACSW) and quoted from its most recent annual report.
"Half of all professional school graduates in the western world are women. Women
graduates of medical schools are more likely than men to pursue academic careers. However,
women have not progressed up the career ladder proportionately to men; women account for
only 15 percent of tenured medical faculty and only 6 percent of department chairs. The
term 'leaky pipeline' has been applied to describe the attrition of women in science and
Milliken added that UCSF is "fortunate to have a chancellor who listens and has
commissioned a climate survey to get beyond the numbers to the faculty perceptions of the
work environment, which can promote their success and contributions. Under the leadership
of Ruth Greenblatt, CACSW has advanced a comprehensive plan for addressing some of these
She encouraged Chancellor Bishop to adopt CACSW's recommendations and embrace its
mission statement, which is, "For UCSF to be a workplace that is especially desirable
for women, one that appears in lists of great places for women to work."
"UCSF should not be satisfied with meeting the standard of other academic health
centers for the benchmarks are low," Milliken said. "We should be defining the
standard of excellence."
Source: Lisa Cisneros