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Academic and Career Profiles and Progression Harper Adams University January 29th 2019

A real  need  seems to be arising amongst young academics for guidance and inspiration in their strivings  for success in both personal and  career progression.   At this seminar participants were privileged to be guided and encouraged by three well qualified speakers:

Ms Carrie de Silva Ll.B  (Hons),  MA,  PGCE        Harper Adams University

  • Principal Lecturer and Post Graduate Coordinator Land Management
  • Teaching Duties
  • Law and Taxation on undergraduate and post-graduate Land Management Courses

Carrie organised this seminar Academic and Career Profiles and Progression at Harper Adams University in January this year.   The audience consisted of  a variety of lecturers at differing stages of their careers.    Carrie pointed out  that the  Gender  Pay gap is just one of many issues for women .  Other concerns include:  working hours, workloads,  fixed term contracts,  attitudes amongst employers to career breaks , the need for role models., and the need for individuals to maximise the impact of their current work.

Mrs Susan  Jeavons  BSc (Hons)        Harper Adams University

  • Senior Lecturer Companion Animal Health, Companion Animal House Manager and Placement Manager  for Animal Courses

Sue’s focus was the investigation of work- life conflicts experienced by women .  Her presentation examined three areas for the audience to consider:

1) Learning to play the game  2) Identity  3) Career application.  She likened these considerations to collecting stamps as opposed to box ticking.  Sue emphasised  the importance of understanding differing approaches of men and women to , for example to  Job Application : Men apply for jobs when they meet 60% of the criteria ; women,  on the other hand,  seek to meet 100% of requirements.  The participants were asked to discuss which areas in the world of work they find difficult  e.g. Getting your voice heard,  dealing with conflict.  The presentation also examined ways of  making an  impact at work.  It was suggested , to move forward, one made three lists : who you are, who you want to be, who you need to be.

Professor Cynthia Burek BSc,  MsC, PhD, FGS. FHE  University of Chester ;

  • Professor of Geoconservation ,
  • Dept of Biological Sciences ; Deputy Chair : Centre for Science Communications; Research Affiliate :Institute of Gender Studies,
  • Director : GeoMon Geopark,
  • Convener: Graduate Women International Fellowship Committee
  • Deputy Chair: Cheshire RIGS
  • Trustee: Funds for Women Graduates,
  • Chair of Board of Trustees: British Federation of Women Graduates Scholarship Committee

Professor Burek  traced her career from her first graduation to her Professorship at The University of Chester.    She began by explaining that it is important to have respect for the people around you and stated that it is important to learn from one’s failures.  Key factors  are  flexibility regarding  both jobs and location,  never to say no but indicate  you will think about  something,  “skill up” and accept negative criticism, demonstrate enthusiasm and try to provide solutions and come up with

new ideas.  It is most important to  always challenge inequality and injustice and lack of choice.    Cynthia stated role models are of key importance and that one needs time and opportunity to reflect .  ” Drivers” for Cynthia are  injustice , disrespect  and ignorance.  ” Boosters” for her are   volunteering,  helping others, skilling  up, using the media.  Cynthia warned one has to be prepared to be lonely at times.  She also mentioned that it is important to make retirement work for one,  consider  impact and advertise on correspondence one’s range of activity.

The seminar concluded with a buffet lunch and important informal discussion amongst participants

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