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ERIC Number: EJ896930
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0954-0253
Retaining a Foothold on the Slippery Paths of Academia: University Women, Indirect Discrimination, and the Academic Marketplace
Wilson, Jacqueline Z.; Marks, Genee; Noone, Lynne; Hamilton-Mackenzie, Jennifer
Gender and Education, v22 n5 p535-545 Sep 2010
This paper examines indirect discrimination in Australian universities that tends to obstruct and delay women's academic careers. The topic is defined and contextualised via a 1998 speech by the Australian Human Rights Commission's Sex Discrimination Commissioner, juxtaposed with a brief contemporaneous exemplar. The paper discusses the prevalence of women among casual and fixed-term academic workers, and the contrasting low numbers of women in senior academic positions. It is argued that the neo-liberal "marketisation" of higher education, which still prevails, has fostered a number of indirectly discriminatory practices and conditions that substantially disadvantage women. A selection of studies of the problem are critiqued. It is argued that a broad statistical methodology is inadequate due to its tendency to "homogenise" the academy and its component individuals, in the process giving scope for unjustified optimism among university policy-makers. A particulate approach is advocated, acknowledging the wide variation between and within universities, and the range of hidden difficulties individual women academics can face. It is concluded that despite apparent reforms over the past decade, the situation of women has improved little in practical terms.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia