The type of work women do is undervalued ('softer' disciplines often undertaken by women, the type of research women do) … the process does not or cannot give sufficient weight to aspects of excellent service to the university (through teaching, and admin – often informal admin/support tasks) and concentrates very heavily on publishing. Women for a variety of often gender-related reasons are often less successful in the publishing area and the networking that surrounds it and leads to more success. Female, academic staff member A number of women expressed the view that women pick up most of the work that does not appear to contribute to career advancement (pastoral care, administration, committee work), and that the promotions criteria focus on research and don’t recognize the work women do. These concerns are reflected in wider literature about women in academia, as illustrated by the following quote. “Nonetheless, the findings, based on a large national sample, do suggest that women are spending more time than men doing the types of scholarly work that are less rewarded by the academy.”87 It was considered by the committee that the promotions criteria, and/or the way these are applied, may disadvantage women. An analysis of the reports of the Independent Observers to the promotion committees between 2007 and 2009 showed that some observers consider the process to be fair and balanced, while others highlighted a number of structural and process issues. Of relevance to this review were comments about the complexity of the process, ranking issues, and the predominance of research over teaching and service.88 4. Women take more time out of the workforce and this disadvantages them in terms of progression This view was expressed by a sizable number of women and smaller group of men in the openended PaEE review survey question that related to academic promotions. Of the gender equity issues expressed by staff in relation to academic promotion, this issue was the third most frequently mentioned. One of the PaEE review survey questions asked staff (both general and academic) who had taken parental leave to comment on whether taking parental leave had disadvantaged their promotion and/or progression prospects. Twenty-seven men and 45 women responded to this question. No men felt they had been disadvantaged and 11 women did, 7 of whom were academic women. Most of the men were on parental leave for 6 weeks, and 1 for 14 weeks. Ten of the 11 women who felt disadvantaged had taken parental leave of between 6 months and 1 year. 5. Other factors Other factors possibly contributing to women’s slower progress through the promotions process were: 87
Cooper, J., Eddy, P., et al. (2007). ‘Improving gender equity in postsecondary education’ in Klein, Susan, S. Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education. New York: Routledge. 88 For further discussion see PaEE review committee paper ‘Relevant Institutional Information – Pay and Employment Equity Review Project’, p. 9.