Volume 44 - Number 1 - 2003 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2003.01031

 

Abstract:

As agricultural and extension education at the university level revamps its image for the new millennium, it may be wise to recognize its growing diversity and seek more compatible options for women in the workforce. The purpose of this study was to describe the unique challenges regarding personal lives, barriers unique to women in the field, and mentoring and support systems available to women involved in agricultural and extension education at the university level. "Changes in education and societal thinking are key components in encouraging young women in non-traditional fields" (Johnson, 1997). The three themes reported in this study reflected a broad view of the issues facing women entering the profession of agricultural and extension education at the university level. 1) Women in the field who feel encouraged seem to be happy and have a strong commitment to their role in the profession. 2) Mentoring networks and support systems are too few and do not meet the needs of the women in the field. 3) Barriers to women in the profession are real and need to be addressed. The barriers perceived by women in agricultural and extension education may be far more real than we would like to think. This study gives insight into the experiences of women in the field of agricultural and extension education.

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