Over the past forty years, the entrenchment of a neoliberal model of university education has been well documented as driving cost-cutting measures. These measures have led to increasingly precarious employment for academic staff along gendered lines, with women being systematically and disproportionately affected. This chapter draws on existing literature, applies a feminist participatory action research framework and utilises a co-operative inquiry methodology. The authors, precariously employed and permanent academic staff, explore how they and other academic women in Australia experience precarity. Impacts range from career stagnation to psychological distress and reduced decision-making capacity around the future. We challenge individualised value systems that negatively impact women academics. Simultaneously we question any managerial approach that instrumentalises casual academic staff as a strategy to avoid sustainable resourcing for teaching and research. A new workplace narrative is proposed whereby staff in permanent academic positions stand in solidarity with precariously employed colleagues to advocate for better outcomes for all in the sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, Feminist and Queer Studies
Subtitle of host publicationPower, Privilege and Inequality in a Time of Neoliberal Conservatism
EditorsDonna Bridges, Cliff Lewis, Elizabeth Wulff, Chelsea Litchfield, Larissa Bamberry
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781000906172
ISBN (Print)9781032328294
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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