Blog Implications of the #MeToo Movement for Academia

The Turtle Approach to Academia in an Era of #MeToo

person woman laptop office
by Dr. Amanda Olejarski:

Associate professors are in a weird space in the academy.  We know enough to mentor our graduate and doctoral students— and maybe help junior faculty find the bathroom.  But we still need mentors ourselves #fullby40.

Issues of gender bias in evaluationsthe mommy penaltythe baby before tenure question gender wage gap in academia  are just some of the pressures facing female faculty members. Fortunately, many senior female faculty members, like the group over at @awparocks, embrace a supportive mentoring environment lightyears beyond the advice they received.  Think back to some of the career advice you’ve received over the years, in light of #metoo—   was it gendered?  Disheartening?  Make you consider an #altac career?  Female faculty are more empowered than ever, and we have to attribute some degree of our success in advocating for ourselves to the #metoo movement.  Leading by example enables all of us to be stronger, to be more confident in advocating for ourselves, our mentees, and our mentors. It’s like the turtle approach. Keep your head down, and you won’t get in trouble.  But the only way for a turtle to make some headway is by sticking her neck out.  Women mentoring one another takes many forms, sometimes the neckless turtle, but sometimes we stick our necks out for each other.  In this era of #metoo, we stand taller as we stand together.    

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About the author:

Amanda Olejarski
Associate Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Westchester University

Dr. Amanda Olejarski is Associate Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at West Chester University. She teaches courses in the MPA and DPA programs. Olejarski’s research interests include administrative discretion and communication, normative public policy implementation, and organizational learning and motivation. Her research has been published in American Review of Public Administration, Administration & Society, Public Integrity, the International Journal of Public Administration, and the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management. She recently published her book, Administrative discretion in action: A narrative of eminent domain. Olejarski serves as President of the Keystone State ASPA Chapter and as Chair of NASPAA’s Pi Alpha Alpha governance committee.  She is MBTI certified from the Myers-Briggs Foundation and certified in Public Performance Measurement from the National Center for PPM. Originally, from N.J., Olejarski lives in King of Prussia, PA, with her hubby, son, and their cats. She enjoys patio gardening, and she loves Wawa.