Are quotas the right answer to reducing gender imbalance in academia?

July 27, 2016 3:45 - 5:00 pm


Academia is characterised by a remarkable gender imbalance at the highest career levels. If it is a policy goal to reach a more balanced gender representation within a reasonable time frame, direct actions will almost certainly need to be taken. One way to address the imbalance is the controversial use of gender quotas. Gender quotas have been adopted in some European countries as a fast-track to gender equality at the highest career levels in academia. We will discuss the positive and negative effects of this measure.

Informed by recent studies, we will discuss the potential pros and cons of using gender quotas in academia from the point of view of a variety of stakeholders including academia, public funding agencies, philanthropic funders, learned societies, national academies, research institutes, and universities.  

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