Between Gender Doors and Leaky Pipelines. Higher Education Policies and Career Patterns of Men and Women in Italian Universities

Publication type

Conference Paper


European Consortium for Political Research Workshop


Publication date

March 29, 2003


Our paper aims at analysing the relationship between higher educational policies and career patterns of men and women professors in Italian universities. It is divided into two sections. In the first part we present an overview of Italian higher education policies in relation to the recruitment and the career progressions of the academics and we explain the way in which nowadays the recruiting and promotion process takes place, discussing both the formal and informal processes which regulate career advancements. In the second section we present data on the presence of women professors in Italian university. We argue that the greater presence of women in the lowest rank of the university hierarchy can be hardly ascribed only to structural dynamics (different timing in entry the university career) or individual factors (different university productivity and activities). We rather conclude that some of the possible reasons which could justify the differences in the career patterns of men and women in Italian universities are to be found in the informal processes which rule career advancements.



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