Title of Abstract

Women of Color and Faculty Life

Submitting Student(s)

Savannah Stinson

Session Title

The College Experience / Health and Wellness 2

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Michael Sickels, Ph.D.; Jeannie Haubert, Ph.D.; & Cheryl Fortner-Wood, Ph.D.; & Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Sociology, Criminology & Anthropology

Abstract

This study explores the experiences of women of color in a predominantly white university setting. I examine how discrimination and relationships with colleagues both within and across departments affects the work life of women of color (WOC) faculty. The research is based on 14 semi-structured interviews with women of color faculty at a southern university. Of the participants, 9 identified as Black or African American, 4 identified as Asian-American immigrants, and one identified as a Black immigrant. This research examines the commonalities and variations of the experiences of these WOC faculty. The findings suggest that (1) women of different racial/ethnic backgrounds have distinctive faculty experiences and most have experienced discrimination throughout their academic career; (2) WOC faculty perceive harsher judgement in areas such as tenure and promotion or managing the classroom; however, immigrant WOC faculty tend to perceive these kinds of discrimination being less blatant than Black WOC faculty; (3) experiences of isolation are common, and establishing relationships with colleagues is particularly challenging for WOC faculty both within and across departments. Many of these women actively seek to establish relationships with other women of color and develop a sense of comradery. These relationships may be important for ensuring the recruitment and retention of WOC faculty.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Women of Color and Faculty Life

This study explores the experiences of women of color in a predominantly white university setting. I examine how discrimination and relationships with colleagues both within and across departments affects the work life of women of color (WOC) faculty. The research is based on 14 semi-structured interviews with women of color faculty at a southern university. Of the participants, 9 identified as Black or African American, 4 identified as Asian-American immigrants, and one identified as a Black immigrant. This research examines the commonalities and variations of the experiences of these WOC faculty. The findings suggest that (1) women of different racial/ethnic backgrounds have distinctive faculty experiences and most have experienced discrimination throughout their academic career; (2) WOC faculty perceive harsher judgement in areas such as tenure and promotion or managing the classroom; however, immigrant WOC faculty tend to perceive these kinds of discrimination being less blatant than Black WOC faculty; (3) experiences of isolation are common, and establishing relationships with colleagues is particularly challenging for WOC faculty both within and across departments. Many of these women actively seek to establish relationships with other women of color and develop a sense of comradery. These relationships may be important for ensuring the recruitment and retention of WOC faculty.