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Viviana Meschitti

This chapter presents a reflection on the role played by gender in shaping the career path of early career academics (postdoctoral fellows and lecturers). Data are analysed in the light of the changes characterizing academia in the last 20 years: changes that have been defined along the concepts of the neoliberal university, academic capitalism and managerialism. Some scholars warn that these discourses might hinder equality. This argument deserves further investigation, since in academia a gendered division of roles strongly persists. The contribution of this chapter lies in illustrating how gender and position along the academic career path interplay. This allows a better understanding of the challenges that lie ahead in the path towards gender equality in science.

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Colette Henry, Helen Lawton Smith, Viviana Meschitti, Lene Foss and Pauric McGowan

The ability to create, develop and manage effective networks is important for academics. Networks can create entrepreneurial and commercialisation opportunities, act as important vehicles for career advancement, help to highlight achievements, and facilitate individuals’ career progression. However, while men’s success in gaining promotion has been attributed to their effective use of networks, women do not appear to have benefitted to the same extent. This chapter draws on qualitative empirical data from the TRIGGER project to explore critically the perceived barriers and potential benefits of networking for women academics. Adopting ecosystems as a theoretical lens, the authors explore the perceived barriers and potential benefits of networking for women academics.

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Helen Lawton Smith, Viviana Meschitti, Jeanne Le Roux, Mark Panton, Ning Baines and Alexandra Poulovassilis

Women constitute a very small proportion of academic entrepreneurs. This is especially the case in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Furthermore, women in STEM disciplines have been shown to file proportionately fewer invention disclosures and patents, launch fewer start-up companies and be less successful in attracting investment funding than their male counterparts. In this chapter the focus is on commercialisation at Birkbeck, University of London, drawing on data collected as part of the European Union-funded TRIGGER project. It is found that while commercialisation activity at Birkbeck is conducted by both men and women, principal investigators on externally awarded research grants are significantly more likely to be men. Seniority and networks also have an influence on ability to commercialise. In the organisational context there are issues with support for commercialisation activity. The study offers insights into women’s attitudes and practices in commercialisation, which should be of value to universities and investors.