A program informally piloted last year is officially launching now as the Job Candidate Mentoring Program for Women in Philosophy. According to the program’s website,
the Job Candidate Mentoring Program for Women in Philosophy matches job candidates with junior faculty mentors who have recently been on the market. The program provides mentoring and peer support to women candidates during their job search through videoconferencing and online forums.
There’s also an explanation of why the program was created:
Women job candidates face unique pressures and challenges due to sexist attitudes, prejudices, and assumptions that work against them. Although women candidates already receive advice and support from faculty in their departments (though the quality of this support varies widely across programs), this support is typically geared towards job candidates in general, and therefore is often blind to the complexity of the challenges women on the job market face. These challenges include, but are certainly not limited to, the following issues: concerns and questions women face regarding their reproductive choices and sexist assumptions about how those choices will impact future career success; concerns and questions about marital status; concerns about what constitutes appropriate attire and appearance for a “serious” woman candidate, concerns about a woman’s perspective, including concerns about whether she is a “feminist,” and so on. Women also face unique challenges as negotiators for salary and benefits; in fact, studies show that women are disadvantaged in negotiating situations and may need to negotiate differently from men. Finally, women also face the threat of sexual harassment. Since men do not face these same challenges (or do not face them to the same extent) and since it is reasonable for young women to hesitate to approach male faculty about how to navigate them, there is a clear need for access to women mentors who have recently been through the job market process and are in a position to share their strategies and advice, as well as to provide much needed moral support.
If you are interested in the program either as a job candidate or potential mentor, you can learn more about how to get involved here.
(via Jennifer Frey)