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Developing Women Faculty Leaders

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Developing Women Faculty Leaders

Developing Women Faculty Leaders

“ There are common experiences we share as women, and this is a good place to talk about that," says Andrea Cox of the Leadership Program for Women Faculty.

Date: 01/26/2017

The school of medicine’s Leadership Program for Women Faculty (LPWF) has tallied impressive numbers in its seven years: 269 graduates—mostly at the senior assistant and associate professor level—from 29 school of medicine departments and many divisions of The Johns Hopkins University.

“It’s a great opportunity for growth, networking and developing the skill set women faculty members need to be leaders,” says LPWF founding director and pediatric nephrologist Barbara Fivush.

In 2008, she was tapped to lead the school of medicine’s new Office of Women in Science and Medicine to address gender inequity in promotions and salary. One year later, Fivush, now associate dean for the office, inaugurated the leadership program. Today, it encompasses nine sessions on negotiation skills, public speaking and other leadership tools for women faculty members.

“The coursework was quite eye-opening, allowing me to see the diversity of management styles and recognize profound differences in how people communicate and perceive different work responsibilities, such as developing a plan of action,” says Andrea Cox, who joined the 2014–15 LPWF cohort as an associate professor and was promoted in April 2016 to professor of medicine and oncology.

It’s the program’s “safe space,” though, which has had perhaps the greatest impact. “People can have effective mentors and role models of both genders, but there are common experiences we share as women, and this is a good place to talk about that,” notes Cox, who directs the school of medicine’s M.D.-Ph.D. program. 

Fivush was expecting collaboration and camaraderie, but the candid conversations have been a welcome surprise. “Women have revealed things here that they never have in a professional setting before,” Fivush says. “This unexpected sharing is such a gift for women.”

redonda miller