Early-Career Graduate Preparation through the Gender and Political Participation Graduate Working Group
By Angie Torres-Beltran, Cornell University and Elizabeth Brannon, University of Denver
There has been a recent call for greater diversity in the field, including in the thematic focus and descriptive representation of working groups. To further these goals, we created a working group focused on the intersection of gender and political participation. Our group is led by two women graduate students and composed of students in different stages of their graduate-school career.
When the pandemic forced everyone online, early-career researchers were not afforded the core opportunities that usually are routine during in-person conferences and workshops. This limited graduate students’ ability to learn how to present their work, to practice giving and receiving feedback, and to build relationships with their peers. Additionally, many of the informal interactions in departmental settings disappeared. These challenges were particularly severe for women, who comprise a disproportionate share of those studying gender and political participation and also may shoulder care responsibilities, because the productivity gap among these women in the discipline widened significantly (Breuning et al. 2021). Strains on productivity as a graduate student are particularly stressful because many students have limited years of funding and thus cannot afford to fall behind on expected progress.