Ruth Chang has posted at What We’re Doing About What It’s Like, describing Rutgers’s efforts to improve things for women. One of the things she describes is an extremely detailed and impressive survey that they give to their own grad students. What especially impressed me is this: When I was a grad student myself, I had a hard time properly perceiving and understanding the ways that the climate in my department were in fact bad. I didn’t really know there was any other way for things to be. If I’d been asked a general question I would have said “everything’s great”. But this survey, it seems to me, asks the sorts of questions that would have let people see from my answers that there was in fact a problem, even if I didn’t see that myself. (My only quibble with it is a section where students are asked whether they think there’s a perceived hierarchy amongst students in terms of ability, and where they think they fall in that hierarchy. I think answering that question would have made me even more desperately insecure.) I urge you all to have a look at the survey, and consider adopting something like it yourselves.