Analysis of gender perspective in AQU Catalunya teaching staff accreditation
In line with the commitment to consider the gender perspective in analysing its processes, AQU Catalunya has drawn up an analysis from the gender perspective of all the research assessments it has carried out up to 2021.
The study on research period assessment carried out in 2019, which ruled out gender discrimination in this activity, provided the starting point for the new study, broadening the focus, addressing other assessments and incorporating a much-needed contextual view.
This new study, which analyses the gender perspective in teaching staff accreditation processes, took into account the assessments AQU Catalunya has carried out over almost 20 years, numbering over 25,000, and the focus of the report was broadened by incorporating a much-needed contextual view.
About 40% of applicants for research accreditation in recent years have been women. And between 70% and 80% of these applications have been successful, with little difference between men and women, as shown in the report. This study was presented to the Research Assessment Commission for reflection and evaluation. The main findings include:
- In contextual terms, significant differences persist in the proportion of women by discipline, and there is a clear glass ceiling when it comes to occupying the highest positions on the academic ladder. The good news is that the trend in the system overall shows a reduction in these differences, although it is still far from equality.
- With specific reference to teaching staff assessment, no significant differences in the main bibliometric indicators between men and women were observed at the start of their academic careers, but they become more evident in later professional stages. This is what is known as the vicious circle of academic progress for women, in which women’s academic output and achievement drops over time, with motherhood being a key cause.
- As a result of such slower academic progress, on average, women need a higher number of attempts and/or administrative appeals than men to obtain accreditation.
- However, at the end of the process, no general, relevant bias in the ability to obtain accreditation was detected, nor was the gap greater in applications for senior lecturers, where the curricula of men and women show even greater differences than in applications for tenure-eligible lecturers. This means that the qualitative assessment in AQU Catalunya’s processes in some way compensates for the average strengths and weaknesses of men and women. In this respect, women have published fewer indexed articles on average, but their participation in projects is clearly higher.