Women Faculty Experiences in Higher Education Focus of New Book by Southeast Professor

Dr. Pamela Parry, chair of the Department of Mass Media at Southeast Missouri State University, recently co-edited a new book about women faculty members’ experiences on college and university campuses.

“Coping with Gender Inequities: Critical Conversation of Women Faculty” examines the thoughts, perceptions, responsibilities and status of women in the academy.

Parry says the book shares authentic narratives of women faculty members.

“I think this book is really important because women faculty are still struggling with the same issues our colleagues were decades ago,” she said. “In this book, the women talk about the different struggles within the profession and tell their stories in their own voices.”

The voices that are selected for this book are from different disciplines; some participants are junior faculty, while others are senior faculty. All of the participants share their eyewitness accounts of how they successfully navigated the road to the professorate.

The book explores the differences between male and women faculty in the academy; women faculty insight into teaching, research and service; how women faculty perceive their work environment; and the stress of faculty evaluation regarding tenure and promotion, and sharing of success stories and lessons learned.

“Although these stories are very truthful, and highlight challenges, all of them have a thread of hope,” Parry said. “It’s a book that challenges us to do better.”

This discussion is critical at this junction in the history of higher education pertaining to gender equity, she said. Women counterparts to male faculty members provide a very visible and meaningful role on campuses. With all the positive roles women faculty play on campuses, women faculty report they are still experiencing, to some degree, less satisfaction and greater challenges than their male counterparts in many aspects of their profession.

“Coping with Gender Inequities: Critical Conversation of Women Faculty” is co-edited by Parry and Sherwood Thompson.