WFLI Summary Evaluation

I. FIU Women Faculty Leadership Institute, Spring 2013

36 of 45 participants (43 women, 2 men) filled out evaluations for the Emotional Labor session.

The post-workshop evaluations of the two-part 2013 FIU Women Faculty Leadership Institute were highly positive, both in terms of quantitative ratings and qualitative comments. The first session in the Institute explored the concept of emotional labor and was led by Dr. Meredith Newman, a pioneer of emotional labor research. Surveys completed by the 45 attendees confirmed that just being aware of the concept of emotional labor, giving it a name and a definition was an excellent first step towards being able to discuss gender inequities in emotional labor and towards being able to value this kind of work appropriately. The relationship between emotional labor and burnout was enlightening to many participants, and many attendees mentioned that they intend incorporate the idea of emotional labor in their future evaluations of employees, student assistants and staff.

The second session in the 2013 Women Faculty Leadership Institute, “Do Babies Matter?,” was led by Drs. Rose and Eaton and centered around a video documenting the impact of having children on men’s and women’s academic careers. While the statistics discussed were somewhat “depressing” (e.g., the fact that women’s careers appear to be more negatively affected by childrearing than men’s), participants appreciated the opportunity to air their concerns with fellow women faculty and to openly discuss the personal and professional challenges they faced as parents and scholars. It was also reassuring to many that these challenges are documented as being wide-spread across all sectors of academia and the U.S., and are not unique to the attendees.

For future presentations, faculty asked that panels be assembled to discuss concepts such as emotional labor and parenting on the tenure clock. These panels might be comprised of women who are at various stages of their careers and who have had diverse experiences with these phenomena. It was also requested that more time be spent on developing solutions to burn out from emotional labor and solutions to successfully managing a family and a tenure-track career.

II. Detailed Results for “Emotional Labor” session

Questions & Responses

•The speaker and panel session lived up to my expectations.
N = 35 Mean = 4.86 (SD = .55) Range = 1 (strongly disagree) – 5 (strongly agree)

•This session gave me useful suggestions for new skill applications involved in leadership.
N = 35 Mean = 4.60 (SD = .77) Range = 1 (strongly disagree) – 5 (strongly agree)

•I am glad I took the time to participate in the session.
N = 34 Mean = 4.91 (SD = .38) Range = 1 (strongly disagree) – 5 (strongly agree)

Question & Sample Answers

Please give an example of at least one thing you learned and will definitely take from the Emotional Labor session to use in your daily life.
•Men and women differ in how they express emotions and deal with emotional labor.
•Keep track of emotional labor and try to quantify emotional labor.
•During this session I realized how much E.L. I have to deal with on a daily basis. I think all departments should have this discussion.
•EL appeared to interactions with undergrads and mentoring grads.
•Emotional labor gives a name to a previously unidentified type of work and its not equal emotional intelligence.
•How to respond to challenging emails from students.
•As a sociologist, I am very familiar with emotional management and am intrigued with it. Importantly, I had not considered the neglectfulness of work environments to consider the high importance and relevance of emotional labor in evaluating an employee’s performance. Again we must consider that most emotion work is conducted in jobs primarily dominated by women. At the same time, university professors engage in extensive emotional labor in the care of their students.
•That identifying EL and discussing it with your peers and supervisor is helpful. “Self awareness is key”
•Words to express previously abstract concept.
•The continuum of emotional labor and burnout. Reviewing my own emotional labor.
•Should work on emotional labor.
•It reinforced what struggles I go through on a daily basis.
•“Emotional Labor” exists.
•Had to step out before the group work but the research was very interesting.
•Stop being a perfectionist. Observe and not react at all.
•Learned that the culture and context of my office environment can dictate how I deal with emotional labor and how I should express it or not.
•I learned a new concept need time to absorb.
•We aren’t recognized for emotional labor work associated with being faculty however it represents a significant percentage of our daily work; it won’t help us get tenure.
•I will be more conscious of this effort in myself and others.
•Take time for “self-care”.
•Part of emotional labor in evaluation of job performance.
•How to reply to an email.
•How emotional labor is an important part of what we do.
•The importance of naming and acknowledging.
•The information on burnout was useful.
•The concept itself was new and can help me think though certain situations.
•The application of emotional labor, and how to incorporate it in the evaluation of employes, student assistants and staff.
•The term.
•Just begin aware of emotional labor, giving it a name, is a tremendous help (language helps conversations). Such a good topic. My silly ways of getting away from work (decompressing) aren’t silly, but are good tools for managing emotional labor and I shouldn’t feel guilty about them.
•EL is something I’ve always taken for granted and undervalued in the work I do. Perhaps naming and recognizing it will ultimately create added value for those who include this contribution as part of their working skill set.

Is there anything that could have been improved about this session?
•More suggestions on how to deal with burn-out and when to scale back on mentoring/emotional labor involved with mentoring. How can we improve/teach emotional labor in our graduate students?
•Maybe add a panel.
•Maybe more time?
•More time to discuss techniques/application.
•Not really. It was extremely informative and highly revealing.
•Would like to be able to refer to or see in the presentation practical ways to manage our own emotions on the job. Addressing when to suppress emotions.
•Talk more about strategies on how to deal with situations not involve high levels of emotional labor.
•Good balance of discussion.
•Very good.
•It was great.
•More question and answer time.
•I enjoyed the group discussion component and engaging interaction with my colleagues. I would have enjoyed some discussion around how to develop my emotional labor skills.
•I thought the session was great. It would be nice if there was more advice on how to deal with it but I understand it depends on your unit.
•Longer. More about “self care” and avoiding burn out.
•Perhaps a little more time to be able to exchange ideas.
•Allowing more time for questions.
•Well run, kudos for who came up with this topic.
•More participants/presenters.
•More time! Dr.Newman was outstanding! The content was enlightening and the modality was inviting for discussion. Thank you!
•More discussion.
•Nothing, it was really great. I liked having the lecture and doing small group discussions.
•Pointers on how to monitor/moderate one’s own EL in the work environment.

III. Detailed Results for “Do Babies Matter” session

21 of 21 participants (21 women) filled out evaluations for the Do Babies Matter? session.

Questions and Answers

•The session lived up to my expectations.
N = 21 Mean = 4.86 (SD = .36) Range = 1 (strongly disagree) – 5 (strongly agree)

•This session enhanced my understanding of the issues and topics presented.
N = 21 Mean = 4.86 (SD = .36) Range = 1 (strongly disagree) – 5 (strongly agree)

•I am glad I took the time to participate in the session.
N = 21 Mean = 4.95 (SD = .22) Range = 1 (strongly disagree) – 5 (strongly agree)

Question & Sample Answers

Please give an example of at least one thing you learned and will definitely take from the “Do Babies Matter?” session to use in your daily life.
•Not really sure- the numbers are so grim. I guess that I take away from this that I should rely on others for support when possible.
•Support and share my experiences with tenure – family work.
•Do not strive to be a perfectionist. It is possible to have both babies and a career.
•It take a village but do what you want.
•Start building a village now- plan whenever possible.
•While at first the information provided in this forum felt disheartening, some of the comments provided by the participants were constructive and enlightening. There an emphasis among women with children not to delay family if it is something you want, as there is no perfect time. It is better than to have regrets and not be able to have a child. One does not have to be perfect.
•I enjoyed the discussion of tenure and babies after the presentation. My “babies” are older so the issues don’t really apply to me anymore.
•Plan better ahead. Form a support system.
•It’s better to be a single women with no kids than a married women with kids in order to achieve career success.
•I learned a few things including: A) Knowledge of facts associated with this ensure, its not just my perception! B) I’m not doing anything wrong.
•That getting married and having children makes it less likely to earn tenure but there are ways to overcome this and strategies to make it through.
•I learned how typical my experience was compared to others.
•Did not attend.
•Statistics are good to know, but I am my own person and can define my own rules and expectations.
•The gender differences for women (in STEM) in getting tenure (or not) relative to this topic is eye-opening. The lower comparative numbers are astonishing in this day and age. Still much to be done.

Is there anything that could have been improved about this session?
•The numbers are so grim. Any way to put more positive spin on session? I want to know what to tell my female graduate students about tenure and family life.
•Maybe add a panel.
•Excellent seating and arrangement in today’s session. However it will be great if we can invite university leadership to participate in the discussion.
•if there was a larger audience.
•Although the statistics were somewhat depressing, I appreciated the raw honesty and good conversation about these issues.
•Perhaps including a couple more presentations; most importantly, I would be interested in learning more about women leaders at FIU and in the community. Their stories and experience are inspirational.
•It was great.
•Maybe a panel discussion of women in different stages.
•No it was great! Loved the group discussion.
•I would have liked discussion of specific strategies to employ. What has worked for others? Ways in which to navigate politics? Ways in which to dispel the idea held by others (family and friends) that academia is flexible for the untenured mom.
•To have more information about FIU’s policy and our right but otherwise it was perfect.
•More review of strategies to help, understanding FIU policy for difficult units, esp. Med school.
•I like the topic, but overall it was way too depressing.
•Maybe need more discussion re strategies and steps for women faculty toward bringing about change in this regard.

General Comments about the overall Women Faculty Leadership Institute or suggestions for next year?
•As always amazing workshop! I’m looking for more tips, suggestions on each of these topics. Perhaps a book list or article list?
•Keep more of these workshops coming.
•This was a wonderful event, well organized and with valuable information. Looking forward to next time!
•Very good topics and discussions.
•Academic partner.
•I truly enjoyed this conference. It was nice to congregate with other women professionals, particularly leaders who show support for women who are still finding their way in perusing their careers.
•It was great! I didn’t know it was the 3rd one, though- I missed the first two!
•If possible please upload slides of presentation for first talk via email or somewhere.
•Loved interacting with colleagues from different departments.
•I loved these sections. I found support and felt support from my fellow female colleagues which is very encouraging!
•It was wonderful to hear other women faculty are facing the same gender related challenges and feeling the support from them. This institute was well planned. I’d like to hear more topics for next year; full day? It was just so helpful!
•Strategies for success, specific to women.
•This was an amazing forum and I really enjoyed meeting so many women here at FIU. Truly a valuable program!
•Very interesting presentations. Unique opportunity to hear, meet and dialogue with women faculty and admin from FIU regarding relevant topics in need of attention and examination. Thank you for this workshop!