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Encouraging Women in Industry to Apply for Faculty Jobs


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has continued to publish. To apply at a research university, it’s crucial to be still actively engaged in research. If you have done some work on the side with students, or have taught an occasional class, that can also help but it is definitely not required. If you’re interested in a teaching university, you need to feel that you would be a strong teacher. Colleges and universities are looking for people who are willing to make a difference in higher education and would genuinely enjoy their faculty role.

If all this sounds like something you want to try, the On-Ramps workshop will expose you to people who have successfully made the transition and you’ll hear personal stories of what has worked. You’ll get practical advice about how to leverage your industrial experience. We’ll have a CV workshop, where people will work with you to ensure your CV looks more like an academic CV than an industrial CV. You’ll be able to network with women in similar situations and you can support each other as you apply for jobs. After the workshop ends, you’ll be sent postings of academic job opportunities.

Women in senior positions in industry may want to consider applying for a departmental chair or dean position, where their leadership and management skills would be an asset. At this year’s workshop, Cherry Murray, who became dean of Harvard University’s School of Engineering after working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Bell Labs, will talk about applying for academic leadership positions.

I think it’s a good thing for more women in science and engineering to become professors. If there are more women in science and technology university faculties, it will inspire more young women to get PhDs and we’ll ultimately have a greater pool of women to hire for both industry and academic jobs.

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Eve Riskin is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the UW’s College of Engineering, and Director of the UW’s ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change. Follow @

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  • tom horbett

    nice effort by our excellent associate dean