AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
By Julia Lehman Caldwell, training coordinator for learning and technology services, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Ed. Note: At many schools women end up in low paying "limited term employment" jobs with few benefits. Here is an example from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, one of 13 campuses in the state university system.
"Across Wisconsin, I see talented and tenacious women poised to lead this state's economic growth--if only we clear obstacles from their path."
--Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton
When Carol Accola became the manager of a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus help desk and software training group, she quickly realized that her staff was mostly women who had worked five to ten years in the job classification "limited term employees" or LTEs. These state employees earn low wages (a minimum of 20% less than permanent workers doing the same jobs) with no vacation, sick time, personal or legal holidays, and sometimes no health insurance.
I experienced these inequitable conditions firsthand. In 2003, with four years of professional work experience and a master's degree in progress, I became the coordinator for Accola's software training program--an LTE position that had existed since 1995 and remained "limited term" for 12 years, until 2007.
Almost three years into my employment, my mom suffered a massive stroke. As an LTE, I had no vacation, sick leave, personal or legal holidays. Fortunately my co-workers showed their support by taking up a collection, which helped pay my bills while I took unpaid time off to be with my mom during her four-month hospital stay.
While studying the attributes of successful companies in her MBA coursework, Accola became concerned about people she supervised …