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The curious under‐representation of women impact case leaders: Can we disengender inequality regimes?

Davies, Julie and Yarrow, Emily and Syed, Jawad (2019) The curious under‐representation of women impact case leaders: Can we disengender inequality regimes? Gender, Work & Organization. ISSN 0968-6673

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Abstract

Universities are increasingly expected to demonstrate the wider societal impacts of academic research. Yet women management scholars were disproportionately under‐represented in leading impact cases in the UK's REF (Research Excellence Framework) 2014. An analysis of 395 REF impact cases for business and management studies with an identifiable lead author revealed that only 25 per cent were led by women, of which 54 per cent were sole authored. Based on 12 in‐depth interviews with women impact case writers, we use Acker's inequality regimes framework to understand invisible and socially constructed gendering of the UK's policy that is designed to evaluate research impact. In a knowledge‐intensive workplace dominated by men, the shape and degree of gendered bases of inequality, systemic practices, processes and controls result in sub‐optimal talent management and gendered knowledge. We call for university leaders to be proactive in addressing barriers that fail to support or recognize women's leadership of research impact.

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