Sacrificing Body and Mind: Pretenure Women Faculty of Color, their Health, and Well-being (2023).

ABSTRACT: This study utilized a qualitative secondary data analysis design with an intersectional perspective to ask: How does academia shape or impact the health and well-being of women faculty of color (WFOC) as they navigate the tenure track? Interview data with 33 pretenure WFOC across the United States were examined via typological analysis, revealing two overarching themes that reflect academia’s impact on the WFOC’s mental and physical state (Theme 1) and their response to this impact through self-care strategies (Theme 2). WFOC spoke to general and specific negative health implications that included depression, isolation, loneliness, imposter syndrome, physical ailments, exhaustion, and overall quality of life, with stress being a common factor that contributed to or exacerbated a majority of their mental and physical ailments. In response, participants engaged in strategic self-care practices such as meditating, exercising, and spending time with family, friends, and colleagues for support. Findings shed light on how the mental and physical state of the majority of the WFOC in this study were collectively impacted in an overwhelmingly negative way, despite their varying backgrounds, institutional distinctions, and nuanced experiences. WFOC made many sacrifices for and in their roles as faculty that led to their suffering—mentally and physically—in silence. Though they internalized the responsibility of attending to the work pressures that negatively impacted their health and well-being, findings stress the need for greater accountability on the part of universities in contributing to the mental and physical distress that the WFOC described.

Martinez, M. A., Glover, K. T., Ota, M., Long, T. A., & Ureta Viroga, M. M. L. (2023). Sacrificing body and mind: Pretenure women faculty of color, their health, and well-being. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

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