A new lens on a persistent problem: Using emergent theory to investigate the barriers to progression of female STEM academics at a UK university

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The gender imbalance which exists in science orientated disciplines is exacerbated at senior levels. We build on a framework that proposes six distinct themes impact on the career development of women generally, and investigate the nature and extent of these themes at a UK university. Interviews were conducted with 21 female STEMM academics. To our knowledge this is the first study of its kind to test the applicability of the framework in an applied setting. The revised framework presented as a result of this study offers the potential to investigate the persisting problem of gender imbalance in progression for STEMM disciplines at other universities with similar employment and cultural profiles. The themes investigated proved a useful mechanism to elicit factors both internal and personal to women, and those that are more directly employer-related. The stand-out personal factor which helped women develop their careers in our case study was in taking the initiative to plan and to develop their own strategies to manage periods of absence or part-time work. We recommend exploring further how to nurture the planning and strategic capacities demonstrated by some women in order that these capacities can be developed for more female employees.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal Of Gender, Science And Technology
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Fingerprint

academic (female)
Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy
Lens
Progression
progressions
Lenses
lenses
Personnel
Planning
university
gender
career development
career
female employee
part-time work
human resources
Internal
Distinct
interviews
employer

Keywords

  • STEMM
  • Higher Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Science & Technology - Other Topics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Energy(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Nursing(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

@article{5a897e64ca6542a3839810932f6f325b,
title = "A new lens on a persistent problem: Using emergent theory to investigate the barriers to progression of female STEM academics at a UK university",
abstract = "The gender imbalance which exists in science orientated disciplines is exacerbated at senior levels. We build on a framework that proposes six distinct themes impact on the career development of women generally, and investigate the nature and extent of these themes at a UK university. Interviews were conducted with 21 female STEMM academics. To our knowledge this is the first study of its kind to test the applicability of the framework in an applied setting. The revised framework presented as a result of this study offers the potential to investigate the persisting problem of gender imbalance in progression for STEMM disciplines at other universities with similar employment and cultural profiles. The themes investigated proved a useful mechanism to elicit factors both internal and personal to women, and those that are more directly employer-related. The stand-out personal factor which helped women develop their careers in our case study was in taking the initiative to plan and to develop their own strategies to manage periods of absence or part-time work. We recommend exploring further how to nurture the planning and strategic capacities demonstrated by some women in order that these capacities can be developed for more female employees.",
keywords = "STEMM, Higher Education, Gender Equality, Science & Technology - Other Topics",
author = "Caroline Wilson and Christine Broughan and Richard Hillier",
year = "2017",
month = "5",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
journal = "International Journal Of Gender, Science And Technology",
issn = "2040-0748",
publisher = "The Open University",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A new lens on a persistent problem

T2 - Using emergent theory to investigate the barriers to progression of female STEM academics at a UK university

AU - Wilson, Caroline

AU - Broughan, Christine

AU - Hillier, Richard

PY - 2017/5

Y1 - 2017/5

N2 - The gender imbalance which exists in science orientated disciplines is exacerbated at senior levels. We build on a framework that proposes six distinct themes impact on the career development of women generally, and investigate the nature and extent of these themes at a UK university. Interviews were conducted with 21 female STEMM academics. To our knowledge this is the first study of its kind to test the applicability of the framework in an applied setting. The revised framework presented as a result of this study offers the potential to investigate the persisting problem of gender imbalance in progression for STEMM disciplines at other universities with similar employment and cultural profiles. The themes investigated proved a useful mechanism to elicit factors both internal and personal to women, and those that are more directly employer-related. The stand-out personal factor which helped women develop their careers in our case study was in taking the initiative to plan and to develop their own strategies to manage periods of absence or part-time work. We recommend exploring further how to nurture the planning and strategic capacities demonstrated by some women in order that these capacities can be developed for more female employees.

AB - The gender imbalance which exists in science orientated disciplines is exacerbated at senior levels. We build on a framework that proposes six distinct themes impact on the career development of women generally, and investigate the nature and extent of these themes at a UK university. Interviews were conducted with 21 female STEMM academics. To our knowledge this is the first study of its kind to test the applicability of the framework in an applied setting. The revised framework presented as a result of this study offers the potential to investigate the persisting problem of gender imbalance in progression for STEMM disciplines at other universities with similar employment and cultural profiles. The themes investigated proved a useful mechanism to elicit factors both internal and personal to women, and those that are more directly employer-related. The stand-out personal factor which helped women develop their careers in our case study was in taking the initiative to plan and to develop their own strategies to manage periods of absence or part-time work. We recommend exploring further how to nurture the planning and strategic capacities demonstrated by some women in order that these capacities can be developed for more female employees.

KW - STEMM

KW - Higher Education

KW - Gender Equality

KW - Science & Technology - Other Topics

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - International Journal Of Gender, Science And Technology

JF - International Journal Of Gender, Science And Technology

SN - 2040-0748

IS - 1

ER -