Special Interest Group for Early Career Network


The aim of this special interest group is to bring together graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, junior faculty, and other early career professionals from both academic and practitioner settings who are interested in work-family research, practice, and advocacy.


  • To encourage and enhance interest and commitment to work-family issues.
  • To connect members to potential mentors amongst senior WFRN members.
  • To increase visibility of early career professionals at larger WFRN organized social and professional networking opportunities.
  • To communicate to the larger WFRN the needs and interests of early career professionals (e.g. strategies for building a successful career in work-family research, practice, or advocacy).
  • To create a common platform for sharing resources related to career opportunities and/or funding opportunities within the work-family field (e.g., WFRN’s Early Career Work and Family Fellowship Program).
  • To provide a supportive space to discuss career and research-related issues (e.g., publication strategies, promoting work-family concerns among practitioners) and any additional resources, programs, or projects that meet the needs of Early Career Network members.
  • To facilitate inter-disciplinary research collaborations.
  • To foster connections between early career researchers and early career practitioners.

Organizational Structure

  • The Early Career Network SIG leadership consists of two co-chairs (one Chair and one Chair-Elect), one secretary, and one membership coordinator.
  • The Co-Chairs are responsible for providing overall leadership, facilitating and maintaining communication within the group and between the SIG and the larger WFRN leadership, encouraging membership both among early career researchers and early career practitioners and ensuring overall functioning of the group.
  • The SIG is currently co-chaired by Caitlin Demsky (Oakland University; cademsky@oakland.edu) and Mona Zanhour (California State University, Long Beach; zanhour@csulb.edu).
  • The secretary is responsible for posting group information to the WFRN website and hosting the group listserv (or other means of communicating with group members). He/She will coordinate with the relevant WFRN officer. Currently, Kay Dowgun at the WFRN Executive Office will help with posting special interest group materials on the WFRN website.
  • The membership coordinator is responsible for maintaining a database of members and their areas of interest, supporting the co-chairs in encouraging new membership, and taking meeting attendance.
  • The SIG is also supported by 2 advisors from among the senior WFRN members. Advisors will support the leadership.
  • All officers will serve for a term of 2 years.
  • Advisors will be requested to provide support for at least one year.
  • The group meets at the biennial Work and Family Researchers Network conference.


Membership is open to all WFRN members who identify as early career professionals. Any restrictions set forth by WFRN apply.


  • Elections for all offices will take place every two years.
  • Nominations will be solicited for all offices three months prior to the WFRN biennial conference.
  • Members can self-nominate and are invited to submit a brief summary explaining why they are interested in the position and what they could bring to this role.
  • Only members in good standing have voting privileges.
  • Advisors are not elected. Members are encouraged to send suggestions to the co-chairs regarding possible advisors.


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Chair:  Mona Zanhour, California State University, Long Beach; mona.zanhour@csulb.edu
Chair-Elect: Mélanie Trottier, Université du Québec à Montréal; trottier.melanie@uqam.ca
Secretary:  Eiko Strader, George Washington University; strader@email.gwu.edu
Membership Coordinator: Sabrina L. Speights, Wheaton College; speights_sabrina@wheatoncollege.edu