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Advancement of Mid-Career Faculty Members: Perceptions, Experiences, and Challenges

Gender Transformation in the Academy

ISBN: 978-1-78441-070-4

Publication date: 6 October 2014



This study examines and describes the experiences and perceptions of women and men associate professors from various academic disciplines as they chart and navigate their academic career trajectories.


Using a case study approach, we interviewed 11 purposively selected mid-career faculty members and five department heads.


Through the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), we identified issues of clarity, climate, self-efficacy, and gender disparity as major concerns for mid-career faculty.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited to a research-intensive university in the southeastern United States. The small study population and unique context limit the generalizability of the study.

Practical implications

Findings of the study provide a lens for university and college administrators, human resources professionals, and other institutional leaders to view professional development programs for mid-career faculty members at their own institutions. The findings also suggest a need for improvements to current family-friendly policies to reduce gender bias and retain women faculty members.


This paper offers practical recommendations to higher education administrators and human resources professionals on how to positively cultivate a better work climate and culture for mid-career faculty members. It also offers suggestions on how to be sensitive to and improve gender equity among mid-career faculty in higher education.



Awando, M., Wood, A., Camargo, E. and Layne, P. (2014), "Advancement of Mid-Career Faculty Members: Perceptions, Experiences, and Challenges", Gender Transformation in the Academy (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 199-220.



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