Women Faculty Moving Forward: Securing the Future


Dr. Jan Slater

I knew I would learn a lot if I was selected as a 2018 Kopenhaver Center Fellow. What I didn’t expect was just how much I would learn, and the accomplished women I would meet.

Today at the Women Faculty Moving Forward preconference AEJMC session in Washington D.C., keynote speaker Dr. Jan Slater, chief marketing officer at Illinois’ Gies College of Business, gave us some tips about achieving tenure that are too good not to share. Here are some of them:

  1. Stop apologizing. It’s a subtle way of giving up power. Search your email before you send it for phrases like “I’m sorry but…” and “I apologize for…,” and eliminate them. Apologize only when you actually did something to apologize for.

  2. Stop letting others take credit for your ideas.

  3. Promote yourself. Advocate for yourself. If you’re not letting people know what you’re doing, they won’t know. It is your case to make that what you’ve done is what’s required.

  4. Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t leave things to chance or luck. Take control.

  5. Instead of being “liked,” be respected. This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s about being effective.

  6. Be kind to other women. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed.

  7. Body language is important. Sit at the table. Do not sit on the outskirts. Lean in. Power poses will make you feel more confident.

  8. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Ask, “Will this activity count toward tenure?”

  9. Know your weaknesses.

  10. Know what you need to do to get tenure. Every year at review, ask, and get in writing, what is needed next.

  11. It’s not about being busy. It’s about being productive.

  12. Find people who support and mentor you.

Thank you, Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at Florida International University for this amazing experience.