Work like a girl: redressing gender inequity in academia through systemic solutions

Kelly Allen, Kerryn Butler-Henderson, Andrea Reupert, Fiona Longmuir, Ilana Finefter-Rosenbluh, Emily Berger, Christine Grove, Amanda Heffernan, Nerelie Freeman, Sarika Kewalramani, Shiri Krebs, Levita D'Souza, Grace Mackie, Denise Chapman, Marilyn Fleer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Historically, the professional structure of higher education has provided restricted employment, career, and leadership opportunities for women. This is exacerbated where there is an intersection between gender and race, culture, religion, or age. Women continue to be underrepresented in senior leadership positions across a range of disciplines, and this lack of representation of women within the professional structure of higher education itself acts as a barrier for more women reaching senior levels within institutions. More women are needed in higher positions to increase representation and visibility, and to encourage and mentor others to then aspire to follow a similar path. This critical review examines gender equity across the major career benchmarks of the academy in light of the impact of the personal contexts of women, systemic processes, and cultural barriers that hinder career progression. Research-based systemic solutions that work towards improved gender equity for women are discussed. The findings from this critical review highlight the need for global systemic change in higher education to create ethical equities in the employment, career, and leadership opportunities for women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number03
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of University Teaching and Learning Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Gender
  • inequity
  • equality
  • women
  • academia
  • higher education

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