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Researching Rita : opportunities and constraints
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by R Cox, S Gregor, G Eade, J Mulherin
Many studies have been conducted which document major impediments to women's overall progress within an academic environment (Cass, 1983; Jones & Lovejoy, 1980; Spender, 1991). These impediments have been identified as the predominance of women working on a part time basis, their concentration at the lower levels of staffing scales; limited access to decision making; career breaks due to child care and wife family responsibilities; lack of time; socialisation as teachers and not as researchers. Specific studies into women's research performance conducted by Converse and Converse (1971), Cole and Cole (1973) and Astin and Bayer (1979), found that in the aggregate, academic women are less productive with respect to research and publication than their male colleagues. More recently, Beattie (1993:51) concluded that: many women lecturers find themselves in an invidious situation as a result of mergers between universities and other institutions in the higher education sector. Women whose previous role has been full-time teaching become 'instant academics', inheriting the expectations of universities that academics will conduct research and will publish in prestigious refereed journals. Investigations carried out by Wilson and Hunt (1983) and Lie and O'Leary (1990) indicate that there are correlations between women's research performance and factors such as teaching loads and type and level of appointment. Wilson and Hunt's (1993) outcomes indicated that the combination of women's relatively higher teaching loads, their concentration at the lower levels of appointment scales and the fact that a higher proportion of women are appointed on a part time or casual basis, have been significant impediments in the enhancement of women's research. The aim of this proposed project is two fold. To examine the research performance of women staff at the Central Queensland University and to identify what women staff perceive as existing constraints and opportunities in developing a research profile at the Central Queensland University.