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Gender differences in career development

10 blue and one red game figures. Three blue pieces stand above the other on different high white towers.
Photo: privat
Women are still dramatically underrepresented at upper levels of academic and research institutions.

Women are still dramatically underrepresented. Why?

Women are still dramatically underrepresented at upper levels of academic and research institutions. In contrast to the popular view that it is a matter of time for highly qualified women to progress through a career ‘‘pipeline’’ in order to assume leadership positions, German panel data covering more than 20 years suggest that time will not solve the problem. The Joint Science Conference reports that in 2004, the share of females who were awarded a PhD was 39%. Despite this, more than 10 years later, only 19% of professorships at universities and 13% of leadership positions at nonuniversity research institutions are held by women. Thus, women do not move up the career ladder to an extent that could be expected given their qualifications. Instead, academic and research careers suffer from a ‘‘leaky pipeline,’’ in Germany as well as elsewhere.
Drawing on theories from work as well as social psychology this research explores questions around gender differential career development. This research builds upon a project „Frauen und ihre Karriereentwicklung in naturwissenschaftlichen Forschungsteams“ which was funded by the Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and by the ESF (Europäischer Sozialfonds für Deutschland)  (The European Social Fund in Germany) und aus dem Europäischen Sozialfonds der Europäischen Union (2009 – 2012) (Förderkennzeichen 01 FP 0926 und 01 FP 0927).


Dr. Annett Hüttges, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Potsdam

Selected Publications

Hüttges, A*., & Fay, D.* (2015). The gender-differential impact of work values on prospects in research careers. Journal of Career Development, 42(6), 524-539. * shared first authorship.

Hüttges, A., & Fay, D. (2015). Gender influences on career development: A brief review. Journal of Personnel Psychology 14 (3), S. 113-120. DOI: 10.1027/1866-5888/a000152

Dautzenberg, K., Fay, D., & Graf, P. (Eds.). (2013). Aufstieg und Ausstieg. Ein geschlechterspezifischer Blick auf Motive und Arbeitsbedingungen in der Wissenschaft. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag / Springer Fachmedien.

Dautzenberg, K., Fay, D., & Graf, P. (Eds.). (2011). Frauen in den Naturwissenschaften: Ansprüche und Widersprüche. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag / Springer Fachmedien.