Strategic Career Planning for Women Faculty – An Intervention and Training Program
“Successful [male] executives spend about 40 percent of their time planning and promoting their careers.” Successful individuals in many fields appear to be well aware of the need to plan and promote their careers, as the above quote suggests. It conveys a point that has been found to be critical to the success of women faculty, as well.
A research career in academe requires self-conscious planning and deliberate attention to building a professional reputation as much, if not more so, as the business world, particularly for women.While many women faculty will not aspire to the 40% time expenditure of male executives when planning their careers, many are able to improve their publishing record and chance of receiving tenure by giving even a little more attention to developing a career strategy.
Research on women faculty has found that women are at a disadvantage in academe compared to men because they usually do not have a network of high status men to promote their careers for them. Thus, it is even more crucial to women’s success than men’s for them to develop a career strategy that enhances their opportunities to publish. At the senior level, women faculty also need to develop strategies for enhancing salary and career development in light of continuing career barriers.
Components of the Strategic Career Planning Program
The Strategic Career Planning Program addresses the essential features of career planning and is specifically aimed at women faculty. The components of the workshop include how to know and do the following:
- Criteria for success (both formal and informal);
- Information relevant to building a research program and getting tenure;
- Timetable to accomplish goals;
- Curriculum vitae enhancement;
- Asserting your reputation, competence, and rights;
- Life conflicts and how to meet the challenge (career vs. family conflicts, etc.)
Additional components of the workshop address how networking and mentoring can help women publish. The Strategic Career Planning Program is tailored to the needs of the individual participants and makes the best use of faculty time. The program is most effective under the following circumstances:
- Preliminary Work: Participating faculty complete a preliminary survey detailing their concerns and send to the facilitator to review and compile.
- Day 1: Facilitator arrives and meets with participating faculty individually for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Day 2: Participants attend day long Strategic Career Planning Workshop offered by facilitator(s) and develop an individualized publication and career plan.
- Consultant submits a brief report assessing the institutional climate for women in science.
- (Optional) Follow-up return visit by facilitator to evaluate progress and revise/fine-tune career plan.
Individualized attention is particularly important for women faculty. Academe is a peculiar culture compared with other work environments such as corporate cultures and advice is not easily applicable from one situation to the other. Corporate success does not depend on developing an independent endeavor, for instance. Yet that is what faculty must do- develop a nationally respected research program – yet be evaluated by colleagues within a department who may know little about the particulars of a faculty member’s specialized area. It is a unique situation. Departments also differ quite a lot in terms of their expectations. For an intervention to be successful at helping women faculty, these factors must be taken into account. The intensive intervention that is part of the Strategic Career Planning Program is aimed at giving women faculty the attention they need and deserve to succeed.
Contact Suzanna Rose for fees (firstname.lastname@example.org; 305-348-1975).