Report on the Committee on Women in Psychology Network Meeting

On August 9, I attended the Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) Network Breakfast Meeting at the American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. as a representative of MPA. The CWP is a part of APA and is “committed to ensuring that women receive equity both within psychology and as consumers of psychological services, and that issues pertaining to women are kept at the forefront of psychological research, education, training, and practice.” The Women’s Program Office at APA provides staff support for the CWP.

Meeting Highlights:

What follows is a summary of meeting highlights plus a contribution by MPA Student Member Yolanda Perkins-Volk who also attended the meeting. The meeting was attended by representatives of APA Divisions and State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Associations along with CWP members and APA staff.

This was my second time attending the meeting on behalf of MPA. It was energizing to hear about the issues impacting women in psychology (both in academia and practice settings). In addition, the meeting provided an opportunity to learn about the advocacy of APA’s Women’s Program Office on concerns such as human trafficking, women’s health, and economic disparities. Each network representative gave a brief report about what was happening in their SPTA or Division. I reported that the MPA Women’s Division was actively engaged and had met during the summer to socialize and discuss professional issues such as reimbursement and other concerns impacting women in independent practice.  I also reported on the successes of MPA women leaders including Dr. Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya (incoming Division 35 Society of Women in Psychology President) and Dr. Trisha Stark (2014 Division 31 Karl F. Heiser Award Winner). I gained a significant amount from attending the meeting and would encourage MPA members, particularly new psychologists and students, to become involved with MPA’s Women’s Division.

Yolanda Perkins-Volk, MPA student member and doctoral psychology student at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology adds:

“I was asked by Dr. Anne Klee, the 2014 APA Division 18 President, to be one of the representatives for Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) at the CWP meeting. I am the student representative for Division 18 and as a woman have an inherent interest in understanding issues women face in psychology. Some of the concerns raised at the meeting were related to work in academia, scholarship and issues around private and public practice. As a student, having a better understanding of what is occurring in the field and who some of the leaders are in this area was invaluable.

Leaving the meeting I had a better knowledge of some of the opportunities that exist for students all the way through advanced clinician that are created for and by the CWP. I think sometimes we get caught up in making things happen for ourselves and standing out as competent and unique clinicians, but there are resources and opportunities to do this with groups like the CWP which exist to see success from women in our field. Not only do these opportunities exist, but it is also important for students to understand and participate in their creation and sustainment.”

Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology – 2015 Call for Applications  

The CWP also hosts an annual Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology (LIWP) in order to, “empower, prepare and support women psychologists as leaders to promote positive changes in institutional, organizational and practice settings as well as APA and State, Provincial and Territorial Associations (SPTA) governance, and increase the diversity, number and effectiveness of women psychologists as leaders….Nominees will be identified as ‘emerging’ or ‘distinguished’ leaders in one or more areas of influence: Practice, scholarship, public interest and service in psychology. Emerging leaders are psychologists who have received their doctorate within the past 15 years, have made a substantial contribution to women in psychology and show promise of an extensive, influential career. Distinguished leaders are psychologists who have worked for 15 years or more after receiving their doctorate. They should have a longstanding influence on women’s issues and status and should be recognized leaders in their area of expertise.”

All materials must be postmarked by February 2, 2015.

For further information, click here.

To Learn More about the CWP:

Chrisler, J. C., de las Fuentes, C., Durvasula, R. S., Esnil, E. M., McHugh, M. C., Miles-Cohen, S. E., . . . Wisdom, J. P. (2013). The American Psychological Association’s Committee on Women in Psychology: 40 years of contributions to the transformation of psychology. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37(4), 444-454. doi:10.1177/0361684313505442

40 Years Strong: APA’s Committee on Women in Psychology Made History.  

Mera Kachgal, Ph.D., L.P., is a former Secretary (2013) and past Chair of the Division of Women in Psychology (2012) of MPA. She is also an elected Member-at-Large for Division 31 (State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Associations) of the American Psychological Association. She urges MPA members to explore Division 31. She works as a program manager for an integrated health clinic serving uninsured and underinsured clients and she also teaches graduate courses in psychology.

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