Pricking the male bubble in academia – exploration of female academic experiences in a number of Pakistan universities

Zainab Fakhr,

Silvia Dal Bianco,

Shazia Bilal

The purpose of this study is to identify some relevant key themes, which have emerged from a fieldwork on female academics in Pakistan, which was conducted between 2015 and 2016. The focus of the present research is to explore the experiences of female academic staff in a number of selected Higher Education institution. The investigation goes beyond the formal contractual role boundaries, such as job scope and requirements, and it analyses female academics’ experiences in a holistic sense. This is in recognition that the value of female employees is not only defined by the nature of their work roles but also by societal as well as cultural norms. To this end, the analysis of female career progression, in the context of a ‘conservative and gendered society’, is complemented to the ones of work-life conflict and multiple identities. As for its methodology, the analysis employs qualitative research techniques, such as interviews leading to a thematic analysis of the generated data. Our preliminary results are consistent with the established literature, in so far as they show significant work-life conflict, slower career progression and fewer development and progression opportunities for female academics.
Słowa kluczowe: Female academics, Pakistan, social inclusion, cultural context, multiple identities

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