Tip Sheet for Psychology Trainees and Early Career Psychologist Women of Color


  Purpose: to provide resources and tips for overcoming challenges faced by women of color in psychology.

1. Develop Your Team of Trusted Mentors and Sponsors
o Mentors have expertise, can tell you the “how to” of meeting goals, and have specialized knowledge. 
They provide advice, feedback, and coaching. It is essential to share your work and ideas to obtain substantial feedback from mentors.
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).

2. Develop Your Peer-Support Team  
o Connect with trusted peers who are working toward similar educational and career goals
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)

3. Make Your Successes and Accomplishments Known  
o Reach out to mentors, sponsors, peers, and organizations that you are member of to increase awareness of your grants, publications, fellowships, and awards
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

4. Identify a Professional Home and Become Involved
o A professional home is an organization or group with a mission or objectives that align with your own 
o Join associations within APA such as Division 45, Division 12 Section 6, Division 35 Section I. Identify associations dedicated to person of colors such as the  Association for Black Psychologists, Asian American Psychological Association, The National Latina/o Psychological Association  
o Active involvement (e.g., joining a committee) facilitates the development of personal relationships with senior psychologists.  

5. Engage in Networking
o Attend conferences and local organizational events and introduce yourself to others to establish working connections which can lead to access to information and opportunities  
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!

6. Be Knowledgeable about Your Department and/or Institution’s Criteria for Advancement/Promotion
o Access and read materials that outline expectations and criteria for completing your doctoral program or for promotion

Resources 
Association of Black Psychologists 
Asian American Psychological Association 
The National Latina/o Psychological Association  
Latina Researchers  
Minority Postdocs  


Daniel, J. H. (2009). Next generation: A mentoring program for black female psychologists. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(3), 299-305.
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) *

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