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2021 Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and Gender

'Women Teach, Men Think!' On the Double Discriminatory Effect of Being a Woman in Universities’ Hiring Processes

Higher Education
Douglas Brommesson
Lunds Universitet
Gissur Erlingsson
Linköping Universitet
Jörgen Ödalen
Uppsala Universitet
Douglas Brommesson
Lunds Universitet

Men and women experience life in academia differently. Previous research has observed an ‘gendered division of labor’: women tend to teach and perform lower-ranked administrative services to a larger extent than men, while men do more research. Furthermore, gender gaps in citations have been observed; a gender bias is present in research grant peer review, and gender has proven to play a significant role in influencing how students rate their instructors. Ultimately, these differences affect career opportunities of female scholars. These structures of differences between men and women in academia is problematic in themselves. However, what is even more problematic is that these structures run the risk of being reproduced when older academics appoint their future colleagues. In many academic systems senior professors play an important role as reviewers in recruitment processes. In this paper we study how these senior professors act when they review younger potential future colleagues. We do this based on a unique data set consisting of 111 recruitment processes with 866 applicants from the hiring of senior lectures in economics, political science and sociology in the Swedish university system. Based on this data we are able to study both the differences in reviews of men and women in terms of ranking but also in terms of the weight the reviewers ascribe to pedagogical and research merits of female and male candidates, respectively. The results from this study will make it possible for us to make an important contribution to the discussion on if and how gender differences are reproduced through the recruitment process of higher education.

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