1 University of Patras (GREECE)
2 University of Patras & CTI Diophantus (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 264-273
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.0085
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
An issue that is often the subject of debate and - perhaps – concern in academia is the ratio of males and females in senior academic positions in higher education institutions. The balance seems to tip in favour of men despite the fact that higher education is generally considered a female-friendly professional field, with the total number of female students and academic staff often outnumbering the male population. However, women remain a minority as senior academics, especially in disciplines such as science, engineering, law, strategy and medicine. A review of the relevant literature makes it clear that this finding is international in scope and, in short, is attributed to women's 'choice' to prioritise the role of motherhood -automatically putting career progression in the background - and to prevailing practices that favour men making it difficult for women to progress to senior academic positions.

In the context of this work, we studied and analysed data for the years 2010-2018 regarding the presence of women as faculty members (professors, associate professors, assistant professors and lectures) in higher education institutions in Greece. In particular, our study was based on detailed massive data made publicly available annually by the ministry of education in Greece. This data is related to all faculty members in greek universities and provide information about the year and rank of initial election and subsequent promotions, area of expertise, as well as university, school and department of service. Gender info had to be added since this sort of information is not mentioned explicitly in the official massive data, which contains approximately 86K entries, making its processing on a database installed on a typical personal computer a challenge. Our statistical study focused on gender in terms of the overall faculty population distribution, on rank distribution, on the distribution of the rank of the initial election, on the time period between initial election and subsequent promotions, as well as on the distribution of male and female faculty in several scientific areas, including science and engineering, humanities, education, art, health sciences, biosciences, law, and many more. Our findings, despite confirming the rather expected assumption that overall male faculty members outnumber female ones, revealed a number of interesting results regarding scientific areas and particular departments where female faculty members prevail. We also observed a tendency of female faculty to avoid being engaged in the promotion process, perhaps due to particular social, financial and academic disincentives that could be due to gender stereotypes and discrimination. To the best of our knowledge, no such study focusing on the gender composition of faculty members in greek universities has ever been presented before. Furthermore, we developed a website using the wordpress platform to present the available data and produce graphical representations and visualizations for facilitating the identification of the patterns and trends we observed and raise awareness about the presence of females in senior academic positions in Greece.
Female faculty, senior academic positions, higher education, data analysis and visualization, wordpress.