Women in higher education

Troy Heffernan, Kathleen Smithers (Contributor)

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Women comprise the largest marginalised group in the higher education sector, but higher education continues to reward men as it was a system designed by men, and for the advancement of men. In this chapter I worked with Kate Smithers who provided her expertise in evaluating the current literature. The chapter demonstrates how even in 2022/23, the sector remains designed to reward competitive behaviour, while career progression, the professoriate, and leadership roles remain dominated by men, and how societal expectations outside of the university (such as family and care responsibilities) have negative consequences for women students and staff in the university. Within this chapter, Bourdieu’s concepts provide an excellent way forward to consider how capital relates to success, and how gendered capital can be in the sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe marginalized majority in higher education
Subtitle of host publicationMarginalised groups and the barriers they face
EditorsTroy Heffernan
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783031414329
ISBN (Print)9783031414312
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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