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Women in research? Investigating research opportunities for female academics in Australia
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by B Blunsdon, N McNeil
Women continue to be surprisingly under-represented in academia, given the increasing numbers of female postgraduate students and the flexible working conditions offered by most Australian Universities. To date, research has emphasised multiple causes for the ‘gender gap’ in academia, including the structural characteristics of the university system, cultural and societal barriers to the advancement of women, the influence of marital status on the productivity of women academics and the interaction of cultural, social and personality factors on women’s professional careers. However, the implications of a ‘gender gap’ in academic rank reach beyond arguments of equality between sexes, to questions regarding consequences of a male-dominated professoriate to the nature and subjects of academic research in Australia. The aim of this paper is to investigate the factors that determine the rank of Australian academics and in part, to investigate whether there is a gender gap of rank or authority, through an analysis of data collected on all Australian academics by the Federal Department of Education, Science and Training. The implications of these findings on opportunities for female academic researchers and for research outcomes will be discussed.