Bienvenido al sistema de Congreso, Eventos y talleres de la Universidad IKIAM
22-25 November 2022
Centro de Convenciones Charles Darwin. San Cristóbal.Galápagos, Ecuador
America/Guayaquil timezone

Women in the academia – how to promote equality – lessons learned from a qualitative study and personal experiences

23 Nov 2022, 08:00
Centro de Convenciones Charles Darwin. San Cristóbal.Galápagos, Ecuador

Centro de Convenciones Charles Darwin. San Cristóbal.Galápagos, Ecuador

Oral Equity, diversity and inclusion Plenary session


Prof. Vered Slonim-Nevo (Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)


Data regarding women in the academia are disquieting. In the United States, for example, women constitute half of those earning PhDs and, as of 2015, 51.5% of assistant professors; however, women are less likely to achieve tenure than men and represent only 32.4% of full professors (Cardel et al., 2020). Moreover, gender inequalities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are notable: although women earn 54.8% of conferred baccalaureate in the social and biological sciences, and 42.4% in mathematics and statistics, women are underrepresented in computer science (18.7%), the physical sciences (19.3%), and engineering (20.9%) (Casad et al., 2021).
What are the factors that may contribute to this inadequate condition? Women tend to withdraw from the general workforce due to two main factors: family demands and low self-confidence (Hoonakler & Schoepke, 2005; Kirchmeyer, 2006; Martinez et al., 2007; Mason & Goulden, 2004; Sears, 2003). The paper has three objectives:

  1. To present findings from a qualitative study, that the author, together with others, had conducted in the past: 25 doctoral students participated in four focus-group discussion sessions. They were asked about their experience in the university, difficulties, advantages, conflicts, their support system, and what they need to succeed in the academia. Advantages included: the ability to work in an interesting field, the ability to invest time to research, and personal development. The main problems that the women discussed in the groups were: financial difficulties resulting from low-level of academic scholarships, and on-going conflicts between the demands of their academic work and family life, and insufficient recognition of specific needs related to their female status (Wittenberg-Szekely et al., 2008).

  2. To present the programs and activities that were employed by the author, who served for 12 years as the advisor to the University President on women equality, as well as the experiences of other advisors, to promote the status of women in our university (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel). These activities included: personal advocacy, mentoring program, changing university’s internal rules and regulations, building coalitions with key leaders in other universities, publishing on-going data, and enhancing the awareness to women’s discrimination among key figures in the campus.

  3. To evaluate the impact of these programs on the status of women in our university.

  4. To draw conclusions regarding activities that may prompt gender equality in the academia.

Theme Equity, diversity and Inclusion

Primary author

Prof. Vered Slonim-Nevo (Department of Social Work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)


Hila Riemer (Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).)

Presentation Materials

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