Experiences of female academics in Ghana: negotiation and strengths as strategies for successful careers
Throughout history, women have been tasked with caring for children and keeping homes; being good wives to their husbands and mothers to their children. Women who pursue professional careers, therefore, are met with hostility, ridicule and other forms of social sanctions, especially if the field is considered to be the preserve of men. A few decades ago, the field of academia was considered an exclusive domain for men. While women have broken into and are doing well in academe, they face several challenges, many of which are rooted in patriarchy. This notwithstanding, these women have navigated this terrain and made it to the top. Using the strengths-based approach, this paper discusses the various strategies employed by some female academic staff from three public universities in Ghana to overcome the challenges that often serve as a hindrance to women’s career advancement in patriarchal societies. The implications of the research for social work practice are discussed.
Keywords: women in academia, negotiation, invisibility, success, social justice