Special issue


In 2018, a community of practice initiative was introduced to enhance the career opportunities for the 53 women academics in the First Year College (FYC) at Victoria University. The FYC is a teaching-oriented college and thus the traditional career advancement through research is largely not applicable to women in the college – many of whom are teaching-focussed academics. The Women in First Year (WiFY) executive developed and implemented workshops with the aim of aiding women on their career trajectory and in getting more women to senior levels and into leadership positions. In this article we will argue that the WiFY initiative has resulted in greater career achievements for women in the FYC. Using data collected from semi-structured interviews as well as relevant research and FYC statistics on career progression, we will argue that WiFY has had a positive effect on the career trajectory of women in the FYC who have participated in their workshops.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Addresses the need for a women’s led community of practice to support women’s career trajectory in academia
  2. Highlights the benefits of such an initiative for women in a first year, teaching-focussed college
  3. Demonstrates that there are clear pathways within teaching and learning colleges for female teaching-focussed academics
  4. Builds upon the wealth of scholarship that exists within the international community regarding a paucity of women in senior positions in academia
  5. Utilises an inter-disciplinary, mixed-methods thematic analysis approach to interpreting data based on interviews provided by female academics.

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