The Midlands State University`s Department of Research and Postgraduate Studies in collaboration with the Gender Institute and supported by the Association of Commonwealth Universities has held a one-day workshop. The workshop was held at the Gweru Main Campus on the 7th of November, 2019 under the theme ‘Research Productivity and Career Advancement of Emerging Female Academics – PropEFA’.
The Research and Postgraduate Studies Executive Dean, Professor Laurine Chikoko said the workshop aimed at identifying gender related impediments that hinder research productivity of emerging female academics at Midlands State University and exploring ways of mitigating these challenges.
“We seek to identify and understand the main challenges that you are facing as emerging female researchers. Our ultimate objective is to identify potential solutions to address these challenges in order to overcome barriers and obstacles to research activities and career progression,” said Professor Chikoko in her opening remarks.
The workshop was facilitated by Professor Hazel Ngoshi who observed the need to eliminate gender blind and gender-neutral policies that work against the progression of female academics at the institution.
“We should worry about how the professoriate and the Executive are constituted in terms of gender. Emerging female academics need representation of their needs and interests at institutional level,” she said.
The Acting Director of the Gender Institute, Professor Irene Muzvidziwa made a presentation on research career and gender dynamics. She urged female researchers to know how to handle various situations affecting them and encouraged them to assert their presence in the academy by making a mark in the research arena.
“Approach is critical in gender related issues,” she said.
During the workshop, emerging female researchers shared a wide range of factors that impede their research productivity and career progression.
The workshop immensely benefited from the participation of senior academics. Professor Chauraya, Dr Dube and Dr Matsa shared their experiences and how they managed to make it as female academics. Senior male academics, Professor Viriri, Professor Mhiripiri, Dr Guyo and Dr Saidi made a commitment to support emerging female academics.