Scaling the Ivory Tower: Stories from Women in Business School Faculties

Scaling the Ivory Tower: Stories from Women in Business School Faculties

Scaling the Ivory Tower: Stories from Women in Business School Faculties

Scaling the Ivory Tower: Stories from Women in Business School Faculties

Synopsis

The detailed life stories of nine women academics in North American business faculties--three in their early careers, three at tenure time, and three who are recognized leaders in their field. Their stories are interpreted as a set of choices, and the insights and strategies are developed for the reader.

Excerpt

The stories in this book are not a history. The authors give few dates and do not particularly name names. These are narratives, to be read to appreciate the personal choices, trade-offs, risks, and chances that unfold as one builds a career in increasingly competitive academic organizations. The Oxford English Dictionary offers many definitions of a "story," but one is particularly pertinent to this book: these stories capture "an existence worthy of record." These authors and their stories help us understand ourselves, whether female or male -- as academic scholars, administrators, teachers, and institution builders.

It was not until the 1970s that women, particularly North American women, had access to academia in large numbers -- as graduate students and faculty members. Now we have had more than twenty years of experience. Even the most senior among us is still in the middle of her story. As such, this is the first time that a set of stories could be collected. Women in academia are popular subjects of novels, but these novels are often mysteries centering on a struggle with mixed motives and moral conflicts, such as Dorothy Sayer Gaudy Night or Amanda Cross Death in a Tenured Position. Stories about the lives of real women academics are rarely written. This book is a welcome exception.

Overall, the women who tell us their stories are achieving success. Several factors replay throughout these stories and provide some sense of the context in which these women live. Unfolding from the following chapters are lessons about achieving excellence and balancing life goals, and about the forms of support required by the contributors at both personal and professional levels. There is much to learn from their successes and struggles. The women who have contributed to this volume . . .

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