With funding by both the Department of Pediatrics and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Office of Faculty Development (OFD) was founded in 2006 on the recommendation of a working group charged with reviewing the status of women in the department. Prior to opening the office, the department arranged a site visit by three distinguished, senior deans and department chairs from outside Washington University, who made three separate visits prior to and over the first few years of the OFD’s existence. Their recommendations shaped the initial programming of the office.
From the beginning the office has focused on faculty satisfaction, retention, and promotion, striving to support the pediatric faculty members in their efforts to achieve their professional potential regardless of gender. Diversity of faculty in gender continues to be a focus, but with the additional emphasis on supporting a climate welcoming of diversity as it pertains to underrepresented minorities in medicine, LGBTQ+ faculty and staff, and faculty with disabilities. The intent of this office is to help provide a supporting working environment that includes mentorship and guidance for all faculty members. Our hope is to foster communication and collegiality, promote a gender-neutral and diverse faculty environment, and assist the faculty with challenges related to work and life.