A review of current practices in women-only staff development programmes at Australian universities

Tessens, L. (2008). A review of current practices in women-only staff development programmes at Australian universities. 

This article reviewed female-only staff development programs offered at Australian universities and raised questions about their effectiveness in promoting a more equitable gender balance.  Comparisons were made between developmental and skill-based training programs, and smorgasbord and cohort programs.  A key consideration made whether programs stated a philosophical approach, and whether they adopted a deficit view whereby women are assisted to develop needed skills and abilities, or whether programs supported women to develop their own leadership styles, and challenge structures or cultures. Whether a program had a steering committee, planning group or strategic plan was related to the adoption of a dual agenda where development was accompanied by strategic interventions designed to challenge organizational cultures (based on de Vries, 2006).

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