Critical Events and Academic Women’s Career Profiles

  • Carmel Diezmann
  • Susan Grieshaber


The previous chapter discussed luck, the scant research that has been undertaken about how women attribute success to luck, and the ways in which WPs talked about luck as part of their career progression and success. The focus of this chapter is critical events and women’s career profiles. Many women academics do not follow the traditional academic career pathway and progress from graduate study through the academic ranks (e.g., Bell S: Women in science in Australia: maximising productivity, diversity and innovation. Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, Canberra. Retrieved from, 2009; Bennett C: Brussels Econ Rev 54(2/3):149–176, 2012). However, there is scant literature on nontraditional pathways that academic women might take. Hence, the purpose of this chapter is to explore the various life courses of women in the professoriate using a critical moment approach (e.g., European Commission: Meta-analysis of gender and science research: synthesis report. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Brussels. Retrieved from, 2016). Clark’s (Hum Relat 53(6):747–770, 2000) work/family border theory (W/F BT) is employed to provide insight into how these critical moments impact women’s career progression. She argues that women’s lives shape and are shaped by their work and family situations and the interactions between these. Of particular importance are the cultural norms of the work and family domains and their compatibility; the physical, temporal, and psychological borders between work and home domains; the ease of crossing the work-home borders on a regular basis; and the support of those who hold significant roles in the work or family domains.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmel Diezmann
    • 1
  • Susan Grieshaber
    • 2
  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyKelvin GroveAustralia
  2. 2.La Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia

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