Organisational and occupational boundaries in Australian universities: the hierarchical positioning of female professional staff

Andrea Simpson, Tanya Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of gender on organisational structures for professional university staff have been largely overlooked in the literature. Using data from one Australian university, we examine the location of professional female staff in the organisational hierarchy. Our analysis indicated that significant gendered segregation existed within and across role level, function, and position title. Women comprised the majority of university professional staff yet the minority of senior administrative positions. Those women who were in senior executive positions were clustered in support areas at the fringe of the decision-making powers of the university. At mid-level management, where numbers of males and females were equivalent, evidence indicated that women assumed a level of greater responsibility yet at lower salary levels. These factors all contribute to professional women's invisibility within the new climate of higher education. This invisibility works to limit current and future career possibilities, as this article highlights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1929-1941
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume39
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

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