In Pursuit of Sustainable Leadership: How Female Academic Department Chairs With Children Negotiate Personal and Professional Roles
AbstractThe Problem. The purpose of this study is to explore how tenured female faculty members with young children negotiate personal and professional roles as department chairs. In addition, this study explores how, if at all, these women’s family and childcare responsibilities have influenced their career aspirations within the academy. The Solution. Findings reveal that role management, mentorship from deans, and sustainability of a lifestyle conducive to work–life balance are critical for female department chairs with children to thrive in their roles. Family-friendly policies in organizations must be combined with mentorship and genuine efforts to holistically support women and their multiple roles, both at home and at work. The Stakeholders. The results of this study provide important perspectives for women who aspire to move up to the administrative ranks while raising a family and for senior academic leaders and others (e.g., human resource development (HRD) practitioners) who can serve as mentors to working mothers.