What does not happen: Interrogating a tool for building a gender-sensitive university.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Work towards a more gender-sensitive university typically focuses on issues such as institutional structures, recruitment and evaluation systems, career paths, curricula, gender balance in decision-making, as well as anti-discrimination policies. Academic careers are persistently gendered in Europe, especially in the professoriate, in which strong male domination prevails. This exists despite a significant increase in women at the starting phase for academic careers and active gender equality policies adopted in academia in many parts of the world. This chapter suggests that a tool towards building a more gender-sensitive university could be developed by interrogating and focusing more systematically on what does not happen in academic careers. Previous research demonstrates how gender discrimination and sexism have not vanished from academic settings even when gender discrimination has been legally prohibited. Rather, it is taking increasingly subtler and covert forms, constituted not only on what tangibly happens to people, but also on what does not happen to them. These phenomena are termed non-events . Individually, these non-events may appear insignificant and unworthy of attention, but understanding the impact of their accumulation in the career and work environment of women in academia is important for raising awareness of and counteracting these less obvious obstacles, in building more gender-sensitive universities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Gender-Sensitive University : A Contradiction in Terms?
EditorsEileen Drew, Siobhán Canavan
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon; New York
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-43117-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-00134-8
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Gender and Society


  • 514,1 Sociology
  • universities
  • Career obstacles
  • 520 Other social sciences
  • gender
  • sexism
  • gender discrimination
  • non-events

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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