Heike Solga (WZB)
19 May 2022 @ 14:00 - 15:30
- Past event
“Do gender equality policies impact on gender differences in academic promotion – Some lessons learned from Germany”
Abstract. Gender equality in academia has received growing public attention in the last decades. Women’s underrepresentation among professors is generated by two processes: the leaky pipeline (women’s choices of not pursuing an academic career because of constrained conditions) and the glass ceiling (gender biases and discrimination in hiring and promotion processes even when women do apply). Concerning both processes, scholars agree that policy interventions are needed to countervail gender inequalities in academia. The lecture will present recent findings from two studies focusing on glass-ceiling processes and ask whether policy interventions impact gender differences in academic evaluations. The first study uses a harmonized survey experiments in Germany and Italy to examine gender biases in selection to assistant professorships. The two countries differ in their institutional policies to increase gender equality in academia: gender-based preferential selection policies in Germany versus standardization of research output in Italy. The second study is linked to the constantly promoted policy recommendation to involve a substantial share of women in selection and appointment committees. The question is, however, whether this policy instrument in fact contribute to counteract the risk of conscious and unconscious gender biases in appointment processes for professorships. If not, the increasing amount of time that female professors spend on committee work due to these gender quotas would be in fact itself a source of gender inequalities concerning research time. The study is based on a survey experiment with professors at German universities and asked these professors to assess hypothetical applicants for a full professorship in terms of qualification and the likelihood of being invited for a job interview.