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4/11/20151 Ten little, nine little, eight little women …in academic research When burnout beats perseverance.

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Presentation on theme: "4/11/20151 Ten little, nine little, eight little women …in academic research When burnout beats perseverance."— Presentation transcript:

1 4/11/20151 Ten little, nine little, eight little women …in academic research When burnout beats perseverance

2 4/11/20152 The numbers tell the story ◊across the US there are less women in high academic ranks than men ◊at Vanderbilt, less than 15% of all full professors are female ◊not a pipeline problem ◊across the US there are less women in high academic ranks than men ◊at Vanderbilt, less than 15% of all full professors are female ◊not a pipeline problem

3 4/11/20153 The numbers tell the story ◊53% of instructors are women ◊41% Assistant professors ◊26% Associate professors ◊14% full professors ◊53% of instructors are women ◊41% Assistant professors ◊26% Associate professors ◊14% full professors Vanderbilt numbers

4 4/11/20154 Factors possibly responsible for this imbalance ◊Women are not as capable as men ◊Women prefer to have families and stay at home ◊Innate brain differences between the sexes ◊Women are either less smart or less willing ◊Women are not as capable as men ◊Women prefer to have families and stay at home ◊Innate brain differences between the sexes ◊Women are either less smart or less willing

5 4/11/20155 ‘Men are inherently risk taking achievers who can willingly endure discomfort in pursuit of success, while women are more likely to choose administrative support jobs that offer low pay in air conditioned offices’ (Steven Pinker, ‘The blank slate’) Factors possibly responsible for this imbalance

6 4/11/20156 Factors possibly responsible ◊Women are not as capable as men ◊Innate brain differences between the sexes ◊Women are either less smart or less willing ◊Discouragement: ◊Girls are told that they are less capable ◊Women face discrimination and/or harassment ◊Burnout due to increasing family responsibilities and discouragement at work ◊Women are not as capable as men ◊Innate brain differences between the sexes ◊Women are either less smart or less willing ◊Discouragement: ◊Girls are told that they are less capable ◊Women face discrimination and/or harassment ◊Burnout due to increasing family responsibilities and discouragement at work

7 4/11/20157 Results from the US Physician Work Life Study: Reports by female physicians ◊more time pressure in seeing patients ◊less work control ◊lower income ◊more time pressure in seeing patients ◊less work control ◊lower income ➔ Women were 1.6 times more likely to report burnout than men, with lack of work control being a strong predictor of burnout.

8 4/11/20158 In a number of studies less control over work was strongly correlated with burnout What about less control over your life? Women are more likely to have… ◊obligations to school, elderly parents ◊obligations to volunteer (school, church, community) ◊attending school performances, sports events ◊to leave work when children, elderly parents are sick What about less control over your life? Women are more likely to have… ◊obligations to school, elderly parents ◊obligations to volunteer (school, church, community) ◊attending school performances, sports events ◊to leave work when children, elderly parents are sick ➔ the impact of family responsibilities may be understated in many studies by the failure to examine faculty who had left academia

9 4/11/20159 Survey of close to 2000 faculty from 24 randomly selected medical schools found that women in academia who have children have fewer publications slower career progress less career satisfaction compared to men with children Survey of close to 2000 faculty from 24 randomly selected medical schools found that women in academia who have children have fewer publications slower career progress less career satisfaction compared to men with children ➔ and yet, we can have family and prevail in a career Children do have an effect on women’s careers

10 4/11/ Eight little, nine little, ten little women …in academic research The power of perseverance

11 4/11/ Perseverance: the art of daily self-abuse

12 4/11/ ‘With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable’ Sir Thomas Foxwell Buxton; advocate for social reforms and abolition of slavery in the British Colonies ‘With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable’ Sir Thomas Foxwell Buxton; advocate for social reforms and abolition of slavery in the British Colonies

13 4/11/ Unfortunately, you won’t get any credit for taking care of the next generation of earthlings - it does not show up in the bottom line ◊Step 1: Do your homework 1.Average number of publications of academics at the level you strive to achieve 2.Average number of grants of academics at the level you strive to achieve 3.How do you compare? ◊Step 1: Do your homework 1.Average number of publications of academics at the level you strive to achieve 2.Average number of grants of academics at the level you strive to achieve 3.How do you compare?

14 4/11/ Your CV is your calling card ◊Step 2: Set your goals for the next level 1.grants, papers, editorships 2.useful committee work versus useless committee work (learn to say ‘no’) 3.get outside offers ◊Step 2: Set your goals for the next level 1.grants, papers, editorships 2.useful committee work versus useless committee work (learn to say ‘no’) 3.get outside offers

15 4/11/ Out of sight - out of mind ◊Step 3: Be visible inside your institution and at international meetings - word will spread ➔ … something is easily forgotten or dismissed as unimportant if it is not in our direct view

16 4/11/ Be confident and don’t undersell yourself ◊Step 4: Talk to your Chair/Dean 1.Make your case - but be intuitive 2.Have your data ready 3.Have a career plan 4.Be proud - having a family is an accomplishment not a failure ◊Step 4: Talk to your Chair/Dean 1.Make your case - but be intuitive 2.Have your data ready 3.Have a career plan 4.Be proud - having a family is an accomplishment not a failure


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