New managerialism in the academy: Gender bias and precarity

TitleNew managerialism in the academy: Gender bias and precarity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSteinthorsdóttir, FS, Smidt, TBrorsen, Petursdottir, GMargret, Einarsdóttir, P, Le Feuvre, N
JournalGender, Work & Organization
Keywordsacademics, gender budgeting, higher education, performance indicators, precarity

In the era of global competition, academic institutions are increasingly being managed as efficient organizations where early career academics are the most vulnerable group in the academic hierarchy. We use gender budgeting to deconstruct the financial and managerial processes and procedures in a selected academic institution in Iceland. Drawing on multiple data collection methods, we argue that new managerialism enhances the precarious position of early career academics, especially women and those in the more feminized fields. Furthermore, we show that the system's bias in favour of so‐called hard science generates gendered consequences for early career academics. We demonstrate
this structural gender bias in each of the first three stages of an academic career: PhD, postdoc and other temporary positions, and assistant professorship. By highlighting the gendered consequences of new managerialism, we want to direct attention to the need to include a gender perspective in the budgeting and all the decision‐making processes in academic institutions.