Monday, March 05, 2007

Plugging the leaks in the professional pipeline

Boston Globe staffer Carey Goldberg writes in the article linked above, about a program at Mass General Hospital to support women doctors in their child-bearing years. Like the faculty tenure process and the job ladder in libraries, these folks have the heavy-duty work loaded into the early years of a professional career. We have this worked out all backwards. When I had young children, I was also working 50+ hour weeks to make my mark as a librarian. I was in a job that was, in many ways, more demanding than the tenured faculty/library director position I have now. We should be looking at ways to support our younger colleagues while they have young children, through flexible scheduling, through summer research stipends, and ideally, mini-sabbaticals to do their research without the pressure of teaching (or reference desk or cataloging, or whatever) every day.

There was another article here on the looming labor shortages as the Baby Boomer generation retires (or dies off!). We need, as AALL has already begun, to prepare the next generation to replace us. That should include not only mentoring, but also the kind of support that keeps folks from dropping out of the labor market til their kids get to 1st grade.

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1 comment:

Betsy McKenzie said...

I can't help but think of pyramid schemes when I consider law firm partners and associates, or some tenured faculties with their junior and adjunct colleagues. It's pretty uncomfortable to think about.