SISB5 - Plugging the leaky pipeline: Women's experiences of postgraduate study

Day Day 1
Session SISB5
Start time 18.00
Room Surrey
Audience For Researcher Developers

Dr Patricia Hamilton, Postgraduate Student Experience Coordinator, University of Johannesburg

Session outline:

In the UK, the discrepancy between women's 'high' undergraduate enrolment rates and lower research postgraduate enrolment figures suggests a 'leaky pipeline' (Equality Challenge Unit, 2015; HESA, 2018), pointing to a persistence in systemic gender inequalities that has far-reaching implications for gender equity among academic staff and university management. This is especially striking when considered through an intersectional lens that attends to the interaction between race, class and gender in shaping the experience of and structures that govern postgraduate study. At the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in South Africa, women's enrolments figures follow this same pattern; beginning at 54% at the undergraduate level but falling to 45% for doctoral registrations. There is a growing body of scholarship that examines these gendered experiences of postgraduate study but few have studied the South African context or adopted an intersectional theoretical lens. This project marks the beginning of an exploratory study of women's postgraduate experiences at UJ, with the goal of exploring interventions to improve research culture for all postgraduates, particularly those from marginalized groups.

Themes covered:

  • Research environment and culture; shaping an inclusive research environment; wellbeing and mental health, gender equality and diversity research integrity and open research