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Title: Increasing diversity in the workforce : exploring experiences of diversity issues that affect clinical psychology careers
Author: Iqbal, Mariam
ISNI:       0000 0004 8506 1573
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is comprised of two chapters: 1) a systematic review of longitudinal career outcomes following mentorship programs in academia, for faculty of colour identified as Underrepresented Minority (URM) and 2) experiences of individuals from low Social Economic Status (SES) backgrounds, reaching leadership positions within Clinical Psychology. The systematic and empirical chapters have been written for planned publications in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, these chapters have been written in accordance with the author guidelines (see Appendix 1). The two chapters are individual papers, although share an overarching theme of diversity representation within professional settings. A diverse workforce has numerous advantages within academic and healthcare settings, including fostering creative ways of thinking and understandings towards the needs of marginalised individuals (Kline, 2014). Both chapters explore underrepresented professional populations and both chapters explore longitudinal career paths. The literature review focuses on academics of colour as initial literature searches on longitudinal career outcomes yielded sufficient data to conduct a review in this population; in contrast there was limited research available assessing SES and longitudinal career outcomes. As the latter highlighted the need to explore SES and career outcomes further, the second chapter aimed to explore the career paths of people from low SES backgrounds who have reached leadership positions within Clinical Psychology. This chapter followed on from the review chapter as it allowed us to examine the role of important factors, including mentorship, which play a pivotal role in career progression. A specific focus of Clinical Psychology leaders from a low SES background was taken as 1) this population is underrepresented within the profession (Scior, Williams & King, 2017; Stewart, 2017) and 2) it ensured this doctoral piece of research was specifically relevant to the field of Clinical Psychology. The literature review provides a contemporary synthesis on the effectiveness of mentoring programs by investigating longitudinal career outcomes. A systematic review was conducted and ten eligible studies were reviewed, consisting of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods design. Across all studies, positive outcomes regarding publication, grant and promotion rates were observed through a longitudinal timeframe. Informal mentoring programs were noted to be advantageous for URM faculty in allowing a greater focus on 'softer skills', such as personal attributes and personal growth. Future research should focus on comparing longitudinal career outcomes of mentoring programs with a matched control group. Particularly, there is a need for more studies conducted in the United Kingdom (UK), as all papers in the review involved a population from the United States of America (U.S.). Research on the specific components of mentoring in the UK, tailored to URM populations, could lead to the development of more nuanced mentorship schemes, which can explore important issues such as intersectionality that can help decolonise current curriculums and be implemented across academic institutes, including Clinical Psychology programmes. The empirical paper explored the personal narratives of twelve individuals from low SES backgrounds, who have reached leadership positions within Clinical Psychology. Data was analysed using Narrative Analysis (NA). NA researchers highlight the space it creates for exploring micro, meso and macro influencers, by the examination of the socio, political and cultural context; which in turn helps develop a greater understanding of individuals' experiences (Weatherhead, 2011). Experiences which emerged from the participants' narratives were presented within the framework of a three-act story, corresponding to a traditional beginning, middle and end. Participants held narratives which integrated interpretations of major life changes and difficult early experiences, such as childhood trauma and abuses of power and reconstructed them to highlight the positive outcomes, i.e. being in a position to passionately champion for and empower vulnerable individuals. In relation to social mobility, participants have developed narratives to negotiate and make sense of their changing circumstances, (within their professional roles this includes working to their values, a strong focus on working hard and gaining confidence to have vulnerable and difficult conversations). Future research should work to develop interventions that can encourage working-class students in their career aspirations, including helping them transition from college to university, through negating some of the barriers embodied as a result of classism, such as improving selfconfidence and creating a space to practise vulnerability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral