Women and the construction and valuing of knowledge in academia

Hultgren, Anna Kristina and Habibie, Pejman (2024). Women and the construction and valuing of knowledge in academia. In: Hultgren, Anna Kristina and Habibie, Pejman eds. Women in Scholarly Publishing. Routledge, pp. 1–22.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003193586-1


Despite women constituting 45% of the higher education sector in the UK, only a quarter of professors and 29% of vice-chancellors are women. Within the UK's Russell Group of Universities to which the top 24 ‘world-class, research-intensive’ universities belong, gender inequalities become even starker, with 20% of vice-chancellor roles being held by women. Scholarship has used various conceptual and theoretical lenses to frame such organizational inequality, notably ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical segregation’, ‘glass ceiling’, ‘sticky floor’ and ‘leaky pipelines’. The concept of the ‘glass ceiling’ captures women's lack of access to better wages, power and opportunities compared to that of men. Indeed, academic writing can take many forms, ranging from the gold standard of the double-blind peer-reviewed article in high-impact journals at one end of the spectrum to providing feedback on students’ writing at the other, and both of those activities are, in turn, gendered.

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