Special issue


An online survey collected data on a range of female academic experiences globally gaining 260 responses with 144 Australian specific academics’ responses (55% of total responses). The pandemic has highlighted positive opportunities such as online teaching and skill development, flexibility, time efficiency, increased collaboration, and time for research. In terms of challenges identified responses indicate an increased workload, less motivation for career progression, and perceptions of greater and obvious gender disparity and bias against female academics. Australia is often referred to as a ‘lucky country’ which can further be enriched though fostering its rich and diverse female academic community into the future. Rapid measures to support women immediately and with longer-term solutions that address gender equity is critical for female academics to ensure future engagement of female academics for positive economic and social growth as a nation.

Practitioner Notes

  1. The current COVID-19 pandemic has effected female academics greater than male counterparts (research output, care duties and gender disparities).
  2. Higher Education Institutions can continue to support female academics the flexibility to work remotely for time efficiency, flexibility to manage family and work and allow focussed time for research and planning for teaching
  3. Workplace stress in Higher Education needs acknowledgement and action by managers at all levels to ensure female academics remain supported and safe in all aspects
  4. Female academic career support at all levels is critical for long-term social and economic benefit
  5. Expectations for female academics balancing work and home duties can be better understood and reflected in support mechanisms

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