EOur Book Review Editor, Michaela Hailbronner, and Associate Editor, Marcela Prieto Rudolphy, join Editor-in-Chief, Gráinne de Búrca, in writing this Editorial.
Gender in academic publishing
In this editorial we raise a question which has been asked by many others before in different contexts: where are the women in academia, and how do those who are there fare?
In asking these questions, and not others, we are very much aware that there is also a great deal to be said about diversity and equity in academia along many other dimensions, including ethnic origin, LGBTQ+ status, disability, social class, and more. With some regret, but also aware of our limitations, on this occasion we address only the issue of women.
Women, as we know, routinely experience violence, discrimination, and hostility which manifest in many ways, structural as well as individual; from the extreme cases of domestic violence, rape, and sexual harassment to the subtler but no less pervasive forms of day-to-day discrimination and belittlement. Academia, although relatively privileged in comparison to other social spheres, is not as different as might be expected in this regard compared to other walks of life. Women within faculties, graduate departments, and colleges face sexual harassment, abuse, and even rape as well as less visible but pervasive forms of gender discrimination, bias, and misogyny.
Women are significantly underrepresented in academic positions, and very starkly so at the higher levels of the academic ladder despite the equal numbers of men and women as high-performing students and at the doctoral level. On top of this, there are many other ways in which the “gender gap” manifests itself. These range from implicit bias in hiring and promotion to the gender pay gap to gendered expectations and judgments in mentorship and teaching evaluations to the fact that women bear a disproportionate burden of the administrative work within universities, as well as of the domestic work at home. As a result, there remain very significant differences in the general experience of men and women working within academia. These differences grow even more stark for women of color and trans-women.Read the rest of this entry…