You are not logged in.

The academic jungle: ecosystem modelling reveals why women are driven out of research

O'Brien, Katherine R. and Hapgood, Karen P. 2012, The academic jungle: ecosystem modelling reveals why women are driven out of research, Oikos, vol. 121, no. 7, pp. 999-1004, doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.20601.x.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Title The academic jungle: ecosystem modelling reveals why women are driven out of research
Author(s) O'Brien, Katherine R.
Hapgood, Karen P.ORCID iD for Hapgood, Karen P. orcid.org/0000-0002-0402-8954
Journal name Oikos
Volume number 121
Issue number 7
Start page 999
End page 1004
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2012-07
ISSN 0030-1299
1600-0706
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Ecology
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Summary The number of women studying science and engineering at undergraduate and postgraduate levels has increased markedly in recent decades. However females have lower retention rates than males in these fields, and perform worse on average than men in terms of promotion and common research metrics. Two key differences between men and women are the larger role that women play in childcare and house work in most families, and the narrower window for female fertility. Here we explore how these two factors affect research output by applying a common ecological model to research performance, incorporating part-time work and the duration of career prior to the onset of part-time work. The model parameterizes the positive feedback between historical research output (i.e. track record) and current output, and the minimum threshold below which research output declines. We use the model to provide insight into how women (and men) can pursue a career in academia while working part-time and devoting substantial time to their family. The model suggests that researchers entering a tenure track (teaching and research) role part-time without an established track record in research will spend longer in the early career phase compared to full-time academics, researchers without teaching commitments, and those who were beyond the early career phase prior to working part-time. The results explain some of the mechanisms behind the observed difference between male and female performance in common metrics and the higher participation of women in teaching-focussed roles. Based on this analysis, we provide strategies for researchers (particularly women) who want to devote substantial time to raising their families while still remaining engaged with their profession. We also identify how university leaders can enable part-time academics to flourish rather than flounder. In particular, we demonstrate that careless application of metrics is likely to further reduce female participation in research, and so reduce the pool of talent available.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.20601.x
Field of Research 160506 Education Policy
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, The Authors & Nordic Society Oikos
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30092946

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Engineering
Connect to link resolver
 
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 18 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 19 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 24 Abstract Views, 1 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Tue, 04 Apr 2017, 15:11:19 EST

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.