Gender Differences in Academic Careers in Sweden

Friday, July 18, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: Booth 42
Oral Presentation
Karin HALLDÉN , Stockholm University, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Gender differences to women’s disadvantage are evident in most bransches of the labour market, so also within academia (Danell & Hjerm, 2012, 2013). Research on Swedish data shows that women have difficulties reaching the highest academic positions. Among other things, women’s likelihood of becoming professors are smaller compared to men (given PhD obtained in the same year) (Ibid.). Women’s greater family responsibilities are often assumed to account for much of the observed labour market gender inequality. Nevertheless, to our knowledge no Swedish study has analyzed the impact of parental leave on academic careers in a systematic way. Hence, the current study uses Swedish register data for all teachers and researchers at Swedish universities and university colleges and matched information on individual and family related characteristics for the time period 1995 to 2011. Event history analysis is employed to analyze the effects of parental leave and temporary parental leave on gender differences in academic careers. The preliminary results show that men have a higher likelihood of becoming professors - which is in line with previous research. However, the gender gap in academic careers gets smaller over time since obtained PhD. Parental leave and temporary parental leave have negative effects on academic careers for both men and women. When studying seperately individuals with small children in the household we find that the gender gap in academic careers is significantly larger for this group compared to the gender gap in academic careers for others academics.      


          Danell, R. & Hjerm, M. (2012). Career prospects for female university researchers have not improved. Scientometrics, vol. 94, s. 999-1006.

          Danell, R. & Hjerm, M. (2013). The importance of early academic career opportunities and gender differences in promotion rates. Working paper. Department of Sociology, Umeå University.