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Professional Development Panel For Women Faculty: Pathways And Checkpoints

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Professional Development & Women Faculty

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1026.1 - 10.1026.7



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Paper Authors

author page

F. Carroll Dougherty

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Cheryl Schrader

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


F. Carroll Dougherty, Cheryl B. Schrader University of South Alabama / Boise State University


Finishing the Ph.D. is always considered to be the hard part; but it is simply the beginning of a long string of challenges and opportunities, checkpoints and pathways. Many women are drawn to an academic career path because of their interest in teaching, research, and outreach potential to others. But sometimes the pathways to success seem unfriendly or unclear. It is not always easy to chart one's progress and define the steps needed to accomplish a goal. And it can be all too easy to get sidetracked, particularly for women. This panel brings together women faculty to address some of the paths and steps in navigating a successful academic career. Three pathways will be covered: the non-tenure research track, industry or government experience first, and the traditional academic track. Checkpoints to be addressed include tenure, promotion to full professor, and moving into the administrative track. Panelists include women from all three paths at different points in their careers. While difficulties for women in particular will be addressed, the focus of the panel will be on the positive actions women can control and use to define a thriving career in academia.


In the 2002-2003 academic year, 17.4% of doctoral degrees in Engineering and Computer Science in the United States were awarded to women1. The distribution of these degrees ranged from virtually none in the Mining and Architectural engineering fields to more than 30% in the Biomedical, Environmental, Engineering Management, and Computer Science (outside of engineering) programs1. These women are now settling into their first positions as doctorates and are trying to determine what is next in their career lives. In that, they join with hundreds of women before them in ascertaining where they want to go and how they can best get there.

While most women engineers at entry-level positions start out even with or perhaps somewhat higher than their male counterparts in terms of salary and title, as they progress in their careers they tend to fall behind in status, pay and positions 2. The reasons for this are extremely complex and resist easy categorization 2,3. Some of the reasons given include historical gender roles, biology, economics, the academic culture, and women's choices. Issues such as these will be addressed by this panel as we look at pathways and checkpoints to a successful academic career.


Many women are drawn to an academic career, and it is certainly a viable option for a professional with a doctorate degree. Entrance to an academic career may come immediately following the earning of a doctorate or after one or more stints in an industrial or government

"Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education"

Dougherty, F. C., & Schrader, C. (2005, June), Professional Development Panel For Women Faculty: Pathways And Checkpoints Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14658

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