The challenges for gender equity and women in leadership in a distributed university in regional Australia

Janelle Thomas, Cate Thomas, Kirsty Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


The barriers to women’s achievement and career progression in the higher education sector have been well-researched. It’s long been acknowledged that career breaks for child-rearing, and women’s self-beliefs about their abilities can impact negatively on their careers, and many programs and policies have been implemented to redress these around the world. This article is focussed around a regional Australian university, with multiple campuses distributed over 1000 kilometres across two states. Courses, schools, and work teams are often spread across multiple campuses, and travel between campuses is sometimes a necessity; one that is time-consuming and requires time away from family. For some women, travelling isn’t possible due to family and other commitments or constraints. This paper explores how working in a regional university, with distributed campuses, has an additional impact on women’s career progression. Through auto-ethnographic accounts of four female staff members, we explore the intersection of gender and location through case studies of personal experiences; investigating the effects that distance and travel limitations can have on participation in work team and networking events, access to professional development opportunities, and career progression within the institution.
Original languageEnglish
Article number165
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019


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