The Gender Gap in Promotion Among Academics: Are We Doing Any Better?

Friday, 20 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Camilla GAIASCHI, University of Milan, Italy
The paper investigates gender inequalities in promotions among academics in a longitudinal perspective. Most of the studies on women and academia are based on cross-sectional data or qualitative methods. This contribution analyzes data on 2000 professors and researchers at the University of Milan (UMIL) through event history analysis and by comparing cross-sectional datasets in time. The aim of the research is twofold. First, it aims at investigating time differences in women and men’s career promotion. Second, it aims at analyzing the variation of women’s rate of promotion in time. Both issues are of great importance to understand whether the vertical segregation in Academia is due to demographic dynamics or to gender discrimination. Longitudinal data on demographic, work and family characteristics have been collected from three different UMIL institutional databases and merged. From a first analysis of the 2016 data, UMIL outperforms the rest of Italy both in terms of vertical (28% and 40% of women are full and associate professors) and horizontal segregation (the percentage of women is higher than the national average in seven disciplines among which six STEMMs). On the other hand, two aspects remains problematic. First, the proportion of women among fixed-term researchers (a recently introduced position which has substituted open-ended researchers) is much lower, both at UMIL and at the national level, than the traditional proportion of female open-ended researchers. This may be due to an “anticipation” of the gender gap in promotion from the B grade, as it was before the reform, to the C grade. Second, women are promoted in lower proportions than men at each stage of the ladder and, for those in A grade, in lower proportions than the stock of women at the same level. This suggests that discrimination occurs. Analyzing promotion data through time will allow to test this hypothesis.