Name and Affiliation

Katie Donovan, Rice University

Article Title

The Success Gap


When Lisa Uhrig, Cathie Craig and Ruth Brisbain won Impromptu, ADS and Persuasive at the 1971 National Forensics Association National Tournament, the forensics community breathed a collective sigh of relief. These women had won three of the six events the NFA offered at the time. Apparently, the lack of women in the activity had been solved. Over the next several decades teams were encouraged to diversify and include more women. However, while these efforts brought women into the activity, they failed to create a culture of equal success between men and women in forensics. Instead, we have considered the issue solved and have turned a blind eye to the success gap women still face in forensics. We owe it to our activity to first, examine the modern problem of discrimination and how it hinders women in forensics, second, detail the causes within our activity that perpetuate this gap, before finally identifying solutions that give all competitors an equal opportunity for success, not just participation.



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