Our conference activity

As members of the Gender Equality in Central and Eastern Europe Community of Practice, we contribute to numerous scientific conferences and other events by presenting our research conducted within the framework of various projects. Here are some themes and abstracts from recent months:

1. Aleksandra Migalska, Paulina Sekuła & Ewa Stoecker (Jagiellonian University in Krakow): Ambivalences towards working conditions in academia under COVID-19 pandemic. A gender perspective. 6th International Conference Social Boundaries of Work. Social Inequalities and New Meanings of Work in the Digital Age, 19–20 May 2022, Lublin, Poland.

ABSTRACT: Working from home affects men and women in different ways. Preliminary data from a MINDtheGEPs qualitative study on working conditions in academia during the pandemic from the Jagiellonian University were presented at the recent Social Boundaries of Work international conference held in Lublin, Poland. The data indicates that Polish academics experience ambivalences that stem from competing demands for them as professionals and care givers. The data suggests that these tensions range from between their different academic roles, from contradictory cultural values and the disconnection between those values and the socially available ways of achieving them.

2. Jacek Bieliński & Anna Knapińska (National Information Processing Institute): Why does she earn less? Gender gaps progression in academia. European Sociological Association: Research Network 33 Women's and Gender Studies Midterm Conference, 13–14 June 2022, Milan, Italy.

ABSTRACT: Various studies and data reveal that women are underrepresented among tenured faculty and in senior academic positions, and that female academic staff earn less than men, although an increasing number of countries have devoted time and attention to establish gender equality regulations. As the gender pay gap has remained a critical challenge in the higher education sector, there is still a lot that we have to understand about this phenomenon. There is a dearth of research on the salary differences within academia in Central and Eastern Europe, and it is particularly important as these countries are on the constant path towards more competitive allocation of research funds and evaluation of the quality of scientific units. In our paper, we focus on the Polish female and male PhD graduates, to measure the pay gap and identify its sources. We draw on a unique dataset that covers the entire population of PhD holders who obtained their degrees and were hired at any Polish university in 2014–2018. The dataset contains histories of individual salaries and research productivity of PhD holders extracted from two administrative registers. Our results show that for such a specific group, the pay gap between men and women exists, yet is quite low. Moreover, as the years go by, the wage gap does not increase. It also turns out that there are no differences between public and non-public higher education institutions. Our intention is to deliver evidence-based findings that prove useful for both academic communities and policymakers in undertaking the steps needed to make progress on a problem of gender inequality faced by universities worldwide.

3. Marta Warat, Ewelina Ciaputa & Ewa Krzaklewska (Jagiellonian University in Krakow): Organisational contexts for caring masculinities? The case of engaged fathers from the upper-middle class. 11th European Feminist Research Conference: Social Change in a Feminist Perspective: Situating Gender Research in Times of Political Contention, 15–18 June 2022, Milan, Italy.

ABSTRACT: The gender division of care work has been proven by many studies, pointing to the unequal division of unpaid care work between women and men. Women still devote more time to childcare and other forms of care. Yet, the gender practices around care are not set in stone and they intersect with, among others, class and age and are renegotiated, especially in the context of changing policies or recent crises. These processes have been analyzed by the Men in Care (MiC) study which – in Poland – focused on exploring the private-family-work arrangements of employees of big international corporations. In the presentation, we want to look at the men intensive (higher than usual) involvement in care over children (e.g. parental leave schemes or COVID-related care leave) based on the qualitative interviews with male carers and their partners. As the study was conducted in 2020, just at the outbreak of pandemic, the narratives of male carers on one hand relate to pre-pandemic period, on the other hand to the pandemic outbreak and the impact of previous experiences on care arrangement during COVID-19 lockdown in Poland. As we will discuss during presentation, the developing narratives around care highlight the class-based conditions for caring masculinities, policy, cultural contexts as well as – less analysed in the literature – meso structures, thus the context of company and its organizational arrangements. The project has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014 –2020), action grant VS-2018-0417 and the Minister of Science and Higher Education’s Programme entitled “PMW” (2019–2022) under grant agreement no. 5127/EaSIPROGRESS/2020/2 dated 21 December 2020.

4. Aleksandra Migalska, Paulina Sekuła & Ewa Stoecker (Jagiellonian University in Krakow): Jeszcze długa droga przed nami... ale czas krótki! Krytyczna refleksja nad procesem wdrażania systemowych rozwiązań w zakresie równości płci na uczelni (There is still a long way to go... but time is short! A critical reflection on the process of implementing systemic gender equality solutions at the university). 18th Polish Sociological Congress Society of the Future: Recompositions, 14–17 September 2022, Warsaw, Poland.

ABSTRACT: The paper is a critical reflection on the process of diagnosing gender inequalities, preparing the ground for the systemic change that is the implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). The intensification of this work, is undoubtedly related to the introduction of the requirement for units implementing projects in Horizon Europe to have GEPs, starting in January 2022. This requirement, as one of the elements of the programme to promote gender equality and support inclusivity in the European Research Area, is an opportunity for systemic efforts towards gender equality in the academy. However, the implementation of such a policy in the academy is associated with a number of challenges, which we had the opportunity to look at on the one hand as female researchers, and on the other hand, to experience them also in the practice of developing the GEP. In the course of qualitative research carried out as part of the MINDtheGEPs project at a university in Poland, we conducted individual interviews with academic staff (21 semi-structured interviews), those responsible for management at university-wide level and at institute and faculty level (6 expert interviews). We also learnt the perspective of those managing university statutory units concerned with nondiscrimination (2 expert interviews).  The survey revealed a number of potential barriers and difficulties that arise when trying to prepare and implement an equality policy focused on gender inequalities, both at institutional and individual level. The latter aspect resonated particularly in the context of parenting female academics, highlighting the need for an intersectional approach in the preparation of GEPs.

5. Aldona Tomczyńska, Agata Kopacz & Anna Knapińska (National Information Processing Institute): Zdalne konferencje naukowe a płeć. Pozorna inkluzywność? (Remote science conferences and gender. An illusory inclusivity?) 18th Polish Sociological Congress Society of the Future: Recompositions, 14–17 September 2022, Warsaw, Poland.

ABSTRACT: At the beginning of 2021, we conducted a survey (Computer Assisted Web Interview, CAWI) with a sample of 2,260 scientists to find out their opinions about scientific conferences, both traditional and remote. We were interested, for example, in what scientific goals are achieved by attending conferences and how the specifics of online conferences compare to this, both during and after the pandemic. It emerged that women perceived scientific conferences as an opportunity to be more recognisable and to establish research collaborations to a greater extent than men. When attending remote conferences, compared to traditional conferences, women and men are significantly less likely to indicate the possibility of achieving a publication goal. Based on the results, we argue that during the pandemic, remote conferences served a different function for women and men, and this effect is amplified for some scientific fields. Our analyses indicate that women are significantly more pragmatic than men in their approach to remote conferencing, which needs to be embedded in the discussion of conflicting social and professional roles of female scientists. We emphasise that the expected inclusivity of remote conferences may only be apparent. Thus, the results of our study are part of a broader discussion on strategies to increase the participation and visibility of women in science.