Global Chair Lecture: Professor Heike Solga

Global Chair Lecture: Professor Heike Solga

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University of Bath

CB 4.5

Claverton Down

BA2 7AY

United Kingdom

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Department of SPS Lecture: Do gender equality policies impact on gender differences in academic promotion? Some lessons learned from Germany

About this event

Professor Heike Solga is one of the world’s foremost and innovative researchers into ‘marginalised’ educational populations and educational disadvantage, with a particular interest in vocational training and its impact on social mobility and career trajectories. She is currently also leading a project on education inequality around university admissions in Germany.  

As one of Bath's Global Chairs, Professor Solga is visiting the University of Bath from the 21st - 24th March 2022. She will be hosting a lecture on the 22nd March in-person in CB 4.5, and virtually, which you are welcome to attend. Please sign up for the event via this event page if you plan to attend in-person. You can also find the Teams link HERE for remote access.

Lecture Details:

Gender equality in academia has received growing public attention in the last decades. Women’s underrepresentation among professors is generated by two processes: the leaky pipeline (women’s choices of not pursuing an academic career because of constrained conditions) and the glass ceiling (gender biases and discrimination in hiring and promotion processes even when women do apply). Concerning both processes, scholars agree that policy interventions are needed to countervail gender inequalities in academia. The lecture will present recent findings from two studies focusing on glass-ceiling processes and ask whether policy interventions impact gender differences in academic evaluations. The first study uses a harmonized survey experiments in Germany and Italy to examine gender biases in selection to assistant professorships. The two countries differ in their institutional policies to increase gender equality in academia: gender-based preferential selection policies in Germany versus standardization of research output in Italy. The second study is linked to the constantly promoted policy recommendation to involve a substantial share of women in selection and appointment committees. The question is, however, whether this policy instrument contributes to counteract the risk of conscious and unconscious gender biases in appointment processes for professorships. If not, the increasing amount of time that female professors spend on committee work due to these gender quotas would be in fact itself a source of gender inequalities concerning research time. The study is based on a survey experiment with professors at German universities and asked these professors to assess hypothetical applicants for a full professorship in terms of qualification and the likelihood of being invited for a job interview.