Admission News Graduation

Whitepaper from University of Phoenix Alumna Presents: Strategies to Help Women Succeed in the Workforce

Written by CB Community

Much has been written about the pandemic’s negative impact on women’s careers as they left the workforce at higher rates than men due to the added pressures of increased child care and caring for sick loved ones.

But there’s been less reflection on how to reverse the cycle of increased unemployment for women and provide them with the support they need to return to the workforce and succeed.

A new whitepaper from the University of Phoenix titled Women and Lifelong Employability addresses this topic head-on.

Written by Dr. Bobbie Murray, director of staff for the United States Air Force, who received her doctoral degree in industrial-organizational psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2018, the paper looks at four approaches that can be used to help change the tide of women leaving the workforce and outlines each strategy. These are reinvention, resilience, reframing, and resolve.

Murray has insight into workplace success through her role with the Air Force where she specializes in recruitment, placement, training and development, performance measurement, motivation, and employing strategies to help employees have productive careers.

“Empowerment for women in the workplace is about having control over life decisions, having a strategic road map with goals and objectives that lay a path for work,” Murray said. “As women continue to navigate the changing landscape of employability, self-reflection will play an important role in the perceptions of work, self-worth, and well-being.”

Strategies for Helping Women Succeed in the Workplace Post-Pandemic

The whitepaper defines reinvention as the ability to gain both hard skills, those that are technical and measurable, and soft skills, or those built through education and training.

In order to map out a successful career path, women need to be strategic about prioritizing themselves and taking time for learning skills, and drawing boundaries.

It’s also important that the jobs women seek are ones that align with their values and strengths, a notion the whitepaper calls job crafting.

Women have to take a hard look at the division of labor in their homes if they want to prioritize their careers, Dr. Murray argued in the paper, “drawing boundaries, setting aside time for learning opportunities, and most importantly recognizing you are worth it.”

Women also need resilience, Murray noted in the whitepaper, especially as they face increased barriers to career advancement due to gender discrimination and economic disadvantages.

The paper explained that building resistance involves overcoming shame and accepting vulnerability. Women must also think critically about the cultural expectations placed on them to understand the systemic issues holding them back so that they can find their own power.

These are mindset adjustments, and with practice, they yield results. “As women mindfully and purposefully practice resilience,” Dr. Murray wrote, “their ability to do so grows more robust and present.”

Reframing is a way to think critically in order to change self-limiting beliefs into positive affirmations.

Murray pointed to the idea that while women are thought to be more emotional as one example of a self-limiting belief, in reality, both men and women show emotion in the workplace. Those emotions are just perceived differently based on gender norms.

Also, Murray argued that reframing is necessary in order for women to evaluate their situation critically, to leave environments that are toxic, or to stop working for a leader who is not supportive or does not value an employee’s identity or self-worth.

Finally, women need to develop resolve for career staying power, according to the whitepaper. This is defined as “the principle of practice at a personal and professional level.”

Resolve is about women knowing who they are with confidence and having a strong sense of self-worth that guides their decision-making.

Ultimately, Murray noted, the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions on women in the workforce provided an opportunity for reflection.

New career models have risen, remote work has made many jobs more accessible, and women have the opportunity to take control of their futures by capitalizing on some of these trends.

“Empowerment for women in the workplace is about having control over life decisions, having a strategic road map with goals and objectives that lay a path for work,” Murray wrote.

About University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world.

The University offers a range of online options including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs as well as professional certificates all designed to align with the career goals of adult learners.

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies offers doctoral programs in a number of career areas including healthcare, business, and education.

Through these programs, students and researchers work with organizations to conduct research that can be applied in the workplace in real-time.

Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and a Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates help University students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives.

For more information, visit

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.