Identifying core competencies to advance female professors’ careers: an exploratory study in United States academia

Ga Eun Seo, Amir Hedayati Mehdiabadi, Wenhao Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This exploratory study aims to identify the core competencies necessary to successfully advance the careers of female associate professors in higher education. To ascertain these core career competencies, a critical incident interview technique was employed. One-to-one semi-structured interviews with six female full professors at a major research university in the Midwestern region of the United States were conducted. Based on participants’ career advancement experiences, the following competencies were identified: (1) making important connections, (2) fulfilling responsibilities in academia, (3) being politically savvy, (4) managing personal and professional obligations, (5) developing a sense of self-agency for one’s career, and (6) believing in one’s self in the work environment. The action-oriented findings of this research, rather than skill-based, can be easily adapted by faculty and institutions, both domestically and internationally, to improve current practices. These findings offer a unique contribution for improving the research and practice of career development among female faculty in higher education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-759
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2017

Keywords

  • Female professors
  • US higher education
  • career advancement
  • competencies
  • full-rank female professors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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