Gender, Science and Innovation
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Gender, Science and Innovation

New Perspectives

Edited by Helen Lawton Smith, Colette Henry, Henry Etzkowitz and Alexandra Poulovassilis

Gender, Science and Innovation explores the contemporary challenges facing women scientists in academia and develops effective strategies to improve gender equality. Addressing an important gap in current knowledge, chapters offer a range of international perspectives from diverse contexts, countries and institutional settings. This book is an essential contribution to the literature for academics, researchers and policy makers concerned with improving gender equality in academia and seeking to learn from the experiences of others.
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Chapter 5: Using the embedded case study approach to analyse the leaky pipeline phenomenon in academic careers

Silvia Cervia


The exclusion dynamics exacerbating the progressive loss of female talent in academia have been analysed and interpreted in international literature from the three different perspectives associated with sociological observation (micro, meso and macro). Once the discrimination processes of each analytical level are isolated, we can move beyond the artificiality of such a separation and restore, at interpretative level, the complexity of reality. This chapter highlights the potential for the perspectives to recover a holistic interpretative key by using the case study methodology. The case study approach allows us to comprehend how changes in national law regarding recruitment and advancement at universities in Italy can reinforce the consolidated expulsion mechanisms by depriving women of those few, tedious and highly demanding counter-strategies they use at individual and relational level to cope with the obstacles that come with pursuing a career in science.

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