What resources does the UVA School of Medicine Committee on Women offer faculty?
Carol Manning, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Nursing, and Co-Chair, Committee on Women, answers that question and more.
This post is part of a series of interviews with faculty and staff who offer resources to SOM faculty. Stay tuned for more interviews with your colleagues!
Q: Can you tell us about the resources that the Committee on Women offers faculty?
The Committee on Women addresses issues pertaining to women in the School of Medicine. It can be women at all levels, in all kinds of jobs, and, although our focus is on issues of women, our committee is made up not just of women. We invite anybody, including men.
One issue we are working on is mentoring. Men often have a very extensive kind of mentorship experience that they’re not even aware of. Women frequently don’t have that, especially because there are not a lot of women at the top. We look at issues of mentoring, like how mentoring works most effectively, and that mentoring often comes from more than one person.
As part of the Committee on Women, we’ve had mentoring events including a speed mentoring event, which was successful and fun. At the event, we had different stations with mentors and mentees. There were blurbs about each mentor, so that mentees would have some idea about what the mentor expertise might be. After seven minutes, people moved on to the next mentor. It was a way to get a lot of exposure to different people and to network.
Another issue that we’re looking at is that across schools of medicine, women do not rise to the top level at the same rate as men. At UVA, we’re good at hiring women, and we have a lot of – roughly equal – women at the assistant professor level, then fewer at the associate professor level, fewer at the associate professor with tenure level, and then when you get to full professor, UVA really suffers, even relative to other schools of medicine around the country.
The Committee on Women is doing focus groups to look at why women get stuck at the associate professor level and we are trying to see what we can do to help women move to that next stage to become full professors. That’s a place where a lot of the powerful decisions are made.
We have social networking events that happen periodically. We have a steering committee that decides on what the committee focus is going to be, and we invite all interested to become a part of the steering committee. We always present at the new faculty orientations at the beginning of the year, because we want people new to the School of Medicine to know that we’re a resource.
So we have social events, we have events with speakers, and we are researching the factors that are preventing women from advancing as easily and quickly as they can.
Q: If a faculty member wanted to reach out to you, for whatever reason, would it be best to email you?
Linda Duska and I are co-chairs, and they can email either of us or both of us. We are happy to meet with people who have questions or are having any kind of issue. It doesn’t have to be a straight academic issue. Work-life balance is a big issue, and that’s something we have speakers on and are trying to help people with. Women even have questions like, “What’s the best resource for babysitters?” or, “How do you manage the fact that my hours don’t match regular childcare hours?”
We’re always happy when people reach out to us with those kind of questions, as well as general questions about what promotion and tenure look like, how does advancement work for women, or what about the different tracks.
In terms of some of those work-life balance issues, we’re developing links on our Facebook page and on our web page to direct women to other resources, as well, where those things are listed.
It should be clear that the Committee on Women is not just for faculty, but for staff members and anyone else who is part of the School of Medicine community, who has questions or any of the same issues that all of us have.
Q: How long have you been at UVA?
A really long time! I came as a postdoc in the ’80s and started on faculty in 1992.
Q: When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Q: What changed?
I started studying architecture, and I realized designing staircases for the rest of my life was absolutely what I did not want to do!
Q: Do you have any children or fur babies at home that you’d like to tell us about?
I am married and have three children, the youngest of whom is in college. I have a dog and a cat. I have always worked full time, with three kids. So I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what it’s to juggle work-life balance, which is why the Committee on Women feels really important to me.
Q: Do you have a favorite local restaurant or hangout spot here in Charlottesville?
There’s so many I like. My favorite restaurant is probably Mas.