This book explores the career paths of Australian women who have succeeded in achieving professorships and beyond, where for the most part, such positions are predominately occupied by males. It also explores the gendered culture that exists across faculties and universities as reported by participants in a survey questionnaire of 525 new professors (female and male), and nearly 30 interviews of women in Australian higher education, either in small focus groups or individually. Futher, it identifies catalysts for and inhibitors of success for women and looks in depth at “the boys’ club” and how it impacts women’s progression.
The book also highlights how critical life decisions — doctoral study, work and family — shape the careers of academic women. It identifies five distinct career profiles for women academics and the pressure points and effective support for each profile. Thus, this book can assist women academics who are making life decisions and those supporting their career progression. It also provides insights into why affirmative action initiatives to improve the proportion of women in the professoriate have had minimal impact despite considerable investment over the past 30 years.