We Did It Our Way: Motivations, Satisfactions, and Accomplishments of Senior Academic Women
Advancing Women in Leadership Journal
In a survey of senior academic women whose careers began around 1970, over half of the 98 respondents cited the desire to serve or make a difference and sought personal fulfillment in their work. Most saw men’s motivations as dissimilar, typically as more self-interested and competitive. Despite generally high satisfaction, dissatisfaction with time pressure/workload and with support was common. Satisfactions and accomplishments overlapped. Frequently mentioned were teaching, scholarship, and their discipline, especially by faculty, and programmatic accomplishments, especially by administrators. Many respondents mentioned helping women; many mentioned a collaborative, nurturing style as integral to their success and as different from their typical male colleagues. Context is provided by the metaphor of immigration (Martin, 1997, 2000), the concept of ambivalent sexism (Krefting, 2003; Glick & Fiske, 1999), and recent work on women and leadership by Eagly and colleagues (e.g., Eagly, 2005; Eagly & Carli, 2007).
Gerdes, E. P. (2010). We did it our way: Motivations, satisfactions, and accomplishments of senior academic women. Advancing Women in Leadership Journal, 30(21). Retrieved from http://www.advancingwomen.com/awl/Vol30_2010/Gerdes_vol_30_No_21_final1_editing9_29_10.pdf.