Purpose: to provide resources and tips for overcoming challenges faced by women of color in psychology.
o Sponsors believe in you and have power to advocate on your behalf. Sponsors use their influence intentionally to help you advance.
o Having sponsors and mentors from diverse disciplines and at different career stages is often helpful. o Establishing at team of mentors and sponsors often takes time, (sometimes years) but it is important to continue the search until you have assembled a team.
o Seek out women of color mentors/sponsors from professional organizations (e.g. Association for Black Psychologists, Asian American Psychological Association, The National Latina/o Psychological Association (NLPA), Division 45 of APA, and APA Division 12 Section VI).
o Consider similarities in career stage, employment settings, criteria for advancement, etc.
o Effective peer support involves endorsement of shared experiences, discussion of potential solutions to challenges, sharing useful resources and information to facilitate your career
o If necessary seek out peers outside of your institution. Peers can be found in local and national associations (e.g., Graduate Student Associations for persons of color, Brothers of the Academy, and Women of the Academy)
o Work with your institutional communications office to report your success
o Connect with organizational newsletters and informal publications to report your success (e.g. APA Div. 45 publishes the FOCUS newsletter quarterly) o Thank the individuals who have contributed to each specific success or accomplishment
o Set Goals and Track Accomplishment of Goals
o Identify short term and long term goals regularly
o Write down yearly and/or semester goals and specific steps needed to reach them. A timeline is often helpful.
o Review goals periodically, consider alternative solutions and use strategic problem-solving to overcome obstacles For example, in selecting one’s first professional appointment, geography, proximity to family, salary and relation of position to one’s career path are all essential factors to consider. How one weights these items is important.
o A peer or mentor who can hold you accountable during scheduled check-ins is recommended o Celebrate your efforts and successes!
Sanders, K.A., Breland-Noble, A.M., King, C. & Cubic, B. (2011). Pathways to success for psychologists in academic health centers: From early career to emeritus. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 17:315–325.
*Developed by Ashley Butler, PhD (Assistant Professor Baylor College of Medicine & Diversity and Disparities Task Force Division 12 Section 8),
Cendrine Robinson, BS (4th year doctoral student, Uniformed Services University),
& Jennifer Hsia, MS (4th year doctoral student, University of South Dakota )
student representatives, Division 12 Section 6
With support/mentoring from Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, Ph.D., MHSc. (AAKOMA Project Director and Assistant Professor Georgetown University Medical Center) *