Retaining female postgraduates in academia : the role of gender and prospective parenthood

Crabb, Shona & Ekberg, Stuart (2014) Retaining female postgraduates in academia : the role of gender and prospective parenthood. Higher Education Research and Development, 33(6), pp. 1099-1162.

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Women remain under-represented in almost all academic levels at universities internationally, and previous evidence has suggested that women move out of the university system in increasing numbers as they progress from postgraduate study to an academic career. The current study aimed to explore the role of gender in the reports of study experiences and future career plans of Australian postgraduate research students (n = 249). Questionnaire data indicated women were significantly less likely than men to rate an academic career as appealing. In particular, female postgraduate students without dependent children were least likely to want to pursue an academic career. On the basis of qualitative analysis, we attribute this finding, at least in part, to a perceived incompatibility between motherhood and an academic career and discuss the implications for gender equity in higher education.

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ID Code: 60952
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: academic careers, equity, gender, parenthood, postgraduate students, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2014.911251
ISSN: 1469-8366
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Gender Sexuality and Education (130308)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900) > Gender Specific Studies (169901)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 HERDSA
Copyright Statement: This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the Higher Education Research and Development © 2013 Taylor & Francis (Routledge); Education Research and Development is available online at
Deposited On: 27 Jun 2013 02:33
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2015 09:35

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