Gender and non-typical academic careers

33 | 2016

Kate White and Maria de Lourdes Machado-Taylor

Faculty of Education and Arts, Federation University Australia
Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education, Portugal

This article explores gender and atypical academic careers, and analyses two case histories, one in Australia and one in Portugal. While national and organisational contexts impacted on the career trajectories of these academics, the main themes of the case studies were sponsorship/mentoring, resilience and being an outsider. The analysis indicates there is a strong link between sponsorship/mentoring and resilience. Sponsorship/mentoring provides women with guidance, advice and access to job opportunities, and helps them develop resilience in the often challenging higher education (HE) organisational culture. But lack of sponsorship/mentoring can engender a sense of being excluded and cause some academic women to become ambivalent about their careers as a mechanism for survival in HE.


gender, academic careers, career paths, higher education

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