Welcome ground for women faculty in academe: An international perspective
Cooper, J. & Strachan, J. (2006). Welcome ground for women faculty in academe: An international perspective. Advancing Women in Leadership. 21, Summer 2006.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/1996
With the continued documentation of a persistent hostile or chilly climate for women in academe (Blum, 1991; Cooper, 2002; Curtis, 2005; Glazer-Raymo, 1999), questions arise about whether women faculty can find a home or welcome ground, both in the United States and around the world (Caplan, 1993; Cooper, Benham, Collay, Martinez-Aleman, & Scherr, 1999). The literature identifies a number of differing ways of viewing the academy as home. For example, Jane Roland Martin (2000) refers to the academy as "the home of thought" (p. 41). In discussing this concept, many women academics talk about finding or forging, if not a home, then welcome ground or a neighborhood. Whatever the term, the connotation is one of a place that is friendly, rather than hostile; one that counters the chilly climate image that Sandler and Hall (1986) have written about. This article explores the question of finding a home or welcome ground by asking if these concepts are relevant both in the new millennium and in the international arena. We examine the experiences of women academics in three countries: the United States (US), Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ), and Romania (Ro). We build on the recent exploration of US women's efforts to find or forge a home (Cooper, Ortiz, Benham, & Scherr, 2002; Cooper, et al., 1999), and explore this concept in three countries that are geographically distant from one another. They are vastly different in size, from the giant United States to the tiny New Zealand, as well as culturally, politically, and economically different. We share the stories of twelve women, four each from the US, NZ, and Romania. Because experiences are embedded in the particular socio-cultural, political conditions of the individual country, the next section will describe existing research about women's experiences in each country.
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