"One of the Boys: The Psychosocial Implications of Gender Tokenism at The Virginia Military Institute"
 presented by:
Ms. Jackie Briski
Virginia Military Institute
Abstract. In Vision 2039—VMI Superintendent General J.H. Binford Peay III’s strategic vision for the future of VMI—General Peay set the goal of a 1500-member Corps of Cadets by the year 2039, including 150-200 women. Many cadets have misinterpreted this to be a quota, but in reality it is the VMI administration’s way of dealing with gender tokenism and relieving some of the pressures that female cadets (currently 8% of the Corps) bear. This presents a unique opportunity to research the effects of gender tokenism on organizational culture, as well as the progress VMI has made in the 11 years since the coming of women. It is the purpose of this independent research project to examine the long-term psychosocial implications of the process of integrating a minority group into a predominantly homogeneous population, using the integration of women at VMI as a case study.
The scope of this research project includes an extensive review of past research in both psychology and sociology, as well as a more human element in the form of interviews with those who have a high stake in the assimilation process: current cadets, alumni, and members of the administration who were involved in assimilation planning. This research focuses on the effects that “assimilation” has on the tokens themselves, as well as the perceived effects of the VMI administration’s change management process.
 Keynote Speaker Presentations & Events Speakers' Biographies
Center Home Conference 2009 VMI       Psychology