EdD Alumnae Present on Women Leaders and Work-life Balance at NASPA Conference
Four 2012 EdD alumnae – Carolyn Stirling, Sandra Vasquez, Aba Cassell, and Myhraliza Aala – were selected by NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) to present their collective dissertation findings at the annual conference in Orlando, March 16-20, 2013. Their session, titled, “Women Leaders Balancing Work and Family: Strategies for Success”, was one of 400 programs selected from a pool of 1,000 submissions, and was one of only three programs earmarked for special sponsorship by the NASPA Women in Student Affairs (WISA) Knowledge Community.
The interactive session shared interview and survey data about 74 successful women leaders in the student affairs field and their work-life balance strategies. Snapshots of the four individual dissertations were presented to an audience of 75 attendees, featuring powerful quotes illustrating the supports and strategies accessed by women student affairs leaders.
Data from the collective findings show that challenges experienced by women leaders include: personal and professional time demands; expectations of society and for themselves; and professional and personal sacrifice. Supports for work-life balance include personal and professional relationships and networks and a positive work environment, including supportive institutional resources. Finally, several strategies were revealed to be helpful to women leaders in student affairs as they attempt to balance work and family commitments:
- Work-life integration: bringing family members to work and taking work home;
- Time management, via effective delegation and prioritization of work and home responsibilities; and
- Professional development, through involvement in professional associations and seeking out role models.