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A Quiet Revolution


by Karin Soweid

SIOP Blogger Karin Soweid Discusses how Doctoral Study Led to an Interest in Working Women in the Middle East

SIOP blogger Karin Soweid, a student at Capella University, used to feel as though she may be missing out on the “land-based doctoral experience,” recalling that the “salient academic conversations are facilitated by the published professors who are well-versed/traveled/conferenced subject matter experts.”

However, as she explains in her recent blog post, she has learned that “synchronous, self-directed virtual academic learning is also encouraged by an equally impressive portfolio of professor qualifications and contributions with undeniable rigor.”

In her first post for the SIOP Exchange for her continuing series on women in the workplace, Soweid discusses this personal journey in an online I-O doctoral program and how it spurred an interest in other working women’s experiences around the world, particularly in the Middle East.

It’s not the typical image or journey we may expect of the traditional doctoral student, perhaps more commonly understood as someone attending a land-based university, fully immersed in research, perhaps a little student teaching of undergrads, Soweid explains in her post.

“No,” she says. “This image is one of an older-than-typical-recently-married-with-a-brand-new-baby-just-having-transitioned-countries-in-an-unstable-economy. Almost the very image described by the keynote address given by the then president of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology at APA Division 13’s Society of Consulting Psychology’s 2010 Mid-Winter conference. As a doctoral student halfway through my coursework at the time, I could feel the blood surge through my veins as I sat next to accomplished, published PhDs with long careers in the field serving highly reputed consulting firms, as the president described the profile of today’s doctoral student: a woman in her upper 30s, employed, married, with children, pursuing this opportunity part-time either on campus or virtually. My inner voice screamed, ‘That is me!’ Yet, perhaps ironically (and self-consciously), I felt invisible as I left the conference during the evening social hour so I could go home to put my child to bed and do my coursework.”

Continue reading the entire first post by SIOP blogger Karin Soweid here and post your reactions and comments to the Exchange today.

Check back to the Exchange weekly for new posts from SIOP’s bloggers!

About SIOP’s Bloggers

SIOP’s bloggers have been posting since late 2011. This group of members serves as opinion leaders and conversation starters. They contribute regularly to the content of the Exchange on various topics related to the field of I-O psychology, discussing topics as diverse as innovation in organizations, employee well-being, leadership development, legal issues, education and training of students, I-O and sustainability, selection and assessment, entrepreneurship, groups and teams, and women in the workplace.

The SIOP blogger crew is also a diverse one, with Members, Student Affiliates, and Associates from science and practice, working in organizations across the country. For a complete list of SIOP bloggers, visit the blogger profile page on the SIOP Exchange here.

If you have any questions about the SIOP Exchange, please contact the SIOP Electronic Communications Committee Chair Chris Rotolo at christopher.rotolo@pepsico.com. For technical questions, contact Stephany Schings Below at sbelow@siop.org. For more information about contributor guidelines, view the Exchange post policy here.