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Women of color in the academy

Sonya L. Clark (Department of Communications, Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama, USA)
Dannielle Joy Davis (Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama, USA)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




The purpose of this paper is to summarize and reflect on four presentations at the 2010 Women of Color in the Academy Conference which focused on strategies that are beneficial to women, especially women of color, to overcoming barriers prevalent in pursing graduate degrees, acculturating to the professoriate, and building portfolios for tenure and/or promotion in the academy.


Observations and notes were used to capture the content of these four presentations; thematic analysis was used to discern the major themes.


The major themes presented were: the process of writing; productivity and publishing; pragmatic approach to quantitative research design; viewing qualitative research as an activity; and understanding the academy.

Practical implications

The practical implications of these presentations are that these strategies may assist women, especially women of color, to attain greater success rates in their graduate education and professorial endeavors; thus, increasing the number of women and women of color in faculty and administrative positions and creating a more diverse workforce.

Social implications

In addition, the social implication for these presentations is that the research community may benefit from the differing perspectives and topics chosen by this underrepresented group.


The originality in this general review is that the material was presented by women of color with doctorates in multidisciplinary fields and presented to an audience of women. The conference was hosted by Sisters of the Academy and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Auburn University at Montgomery.



Clark, S.L. and Joy Davis, D. (2011), "Women of color in the academy", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 431-436.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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