CGHE Seminar 93

The gender promotion gap in Italy

  • Giulio Marini, UCL Institute of Education
  • Viviana Meschitti, University of Huddersfield

The topic of gender differences and career progression is high not only on the scholarly agenda, it is often discussed in the media as well – sometimes in quite controversial terms.

We investigate this theme in Italy, a country that in recent years introduced a level of institutional autonomy in determining the career paths of academics.

We provide analysis of census data about promotion to full professorship, looking at indicators of productivity, rank, age and prestige of an individual’s department of affiliation. Our analysis also takes into account institutional performative indicators, which affect promotion probabilities.

Our study (Marini & Meschitti 2018) found that when promotion decisions lacked transparency a strong discrimination existed against women, despite their productivity matching that of their male counterparts. However, gender discrimination was almost absent when fully transparent procedures were adopted.

The seminar will also look at whether this discrimination can be explained by similarities in professors’ communities (those in charge of bestowing promotions), considering specifically the combination of discipline and institution.

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Giulio Marini

Giulio Marini

Giulio Marini is a researcher on CGHE’s local higher education engagement research programme and global higher education engagement research programme.

Viviana Meschitti

Viviana Meschitti

Viviana Meschitti is a Lecturer in Management at the University of Huddersfield, and she is active in the field of organisation and gender studies. She was previously a researcher at Birkbeck University of London, and University of Lugano (Switzerland), and has a longstanding experience in designing and implementing mentoring programmes to support women academics.

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