"Women tend to feel foolish asking for more attention for their contributions. The mandate that females provide recognition to males is a basic requirement of the white, middle-class notion of femininity. Challenging this state of affairs is a high-risk, potentially high-loss venture" (pp. 47-8).
- What is a flourishing life? Are women flourishing in the workplace?
- Is it a problem for society when educated women are not working, work part-time, or work at areas outside of their training? Why?
- Why are educated women often with graduate degrees leaving the workforce to have their families? (How do they feel, what happens when they try to return, how do their partners feel?)
- Is there another "ceiling" besides the glass one? What is it? Can it be melted?
- Is it different when there is a woman on top? How? What changes can women make when they are in decision-making positions?
- Are women workers considered less valuable than men workers? How do we know?
- What issues do women face (that men don't) in thinking about personal ambitions?
- Why are women in male-dominated fields such as science and engineering particularly important in this discussion?
- Are there situations that face women in science and technology that men do not have to deal with?
- Are there any ways younger women who love their work can prepare their lives without having to sacrifice either their career or their family?
- What does it mean to negotiate equality at home as we seek equality in the workplace?
- What does it mean for a workplace to be "family-friendly". What is the reality?
Do you sometimes feel ambivalent towards aspects of ambition? Does it frustrate you when people encourage you or pressure you to be more ambitious? What are the factors affecting women's attitudes towards ambition and recognition?
This provocative, interactive discussion will explore how ambition plays out in the lives and minds of graduate students. We will look at the sources of women's ambitions and how our own attitudes and the attitudes of others may influence the personal and professional decisions we make. Examples from the lives of successful Canadian women will be shared.
In this workshop, we will:
Explore our attitudes towards our careers, dreams, and ambitions in the sciences.
Look at influences in the culture, in the workforce, and in us that discourage us from dreaming big.
Prepare ourselves for these influences and be ready to counteract them.
Discover ways not to let our careers unravel when children and family become part of our lives.
See http://web.uvic.ca/transition/ambition/index.html for details and descriptions of all the events, including notes and a bibliography.
Ambition brings together a desire for both mastery and recognition. While women seek mastery as avidly as men do, they often defer recognition to others. Are women ambivalent about seeking recognition for their achievements or about being known as ambitious? Might this ambivalence be affecting our success and contribute to the low numbers of women in non-traditional fields? In this workshop, participants will investigate their feelings about professional advancement, goals and dreams, autonomy, and success.
This workshop gives women guidelines for envisioning their future by formulating and examining goals and then looking at what might be blocking them from achieving these goals – both internal and external factors. Blocks may include the difficult task of sharing values and responsibilities with one's partner as well as a corporate culture which might not be encouraging of women's dreams.
We will then become aware of tools to help the unblocking process -- tools which include activities, beliefs, resources, allies, skills, and attitudes. As a result, women will become more confident and proactive as they pursue their ambitions.
We will cover a selection of areas drawn from the following. We wish to
- uncover our attitudes towards mastery and recognition
- examine the consequences of seeking or achieving mastery without receiving recognition
- examine the perception we have of ourselves as protagonists in our narratives
- explore fears associated with success and accomplishment
- identify goals within our chosen fields
- explore blocks to achieving those goals
- develop tools to help the unblocking process.
Participants receive a workbook containing exercises and activities. The workbook draws its inspiration from Anna Fels's bookNecessary Dreams: Ambition in Women's Changing Lives (Pantheon, 2004) and Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divideby Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever (Princeton University Press, 2003).