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Women’s Participation in Higher Education in Turkey: NETFA project and some implications for structural changes 4th European Women Rectors Conference Istanbul,

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Presentation on theme: "Women’s Participation in Higher Education in Turkey: NETFA project and some implications for structural changes 4th European Women Rectors Conference Istanbul,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Women’s Participation in Higher Education in Turkey: NETFA project and some implications for structural changes 4th European Women Rectors Conference Istanbul, Turkey, May,

2 Contents Introduction of the Project Summary of Statistical Data Summary of Findings and Discussion 2

3 Introduction and the background of the project: UNICAFE Project Istanbul Technical University took part in a project funded under the FP6 by EC between titled UNICAFE (Survey of University Career of Female Scientists at Life Sciences versus Technical Universities/Proposal Contract No: ) In this project it was observed that Turkey in terms of women academics set a unique example of high representation among the partner countries which included Hungary, Austria, Finland, Estonia and Italy. After completing the above mentioned project and organizing its dissemination conference at ITU in 2008 we decided to use the same methodology in a new project for a study of various universities in Turkey. The new study was called The Formation of the Network of Female Academicians in Science Engineering and Technology in Turkey. (NETFA) 3

4 Aim and Scope of the Project Duration : August May 2013 Aim : enhancing the existing knowledge on the gender (dis)parity and career patterns of female academics in science, engineering and technology in various universities in Turkey. Main research topics were: Gender differences in research careers, critical areas where women are underrepresented, leading university positions, access to funding, work-life balance 4

5 Partner Universities and List of Participants 2) Akdeniz University Established in 1982 and located in Antalya. Prof. Dr. Nurşen Adak, Doç.Dr. Gözde Yirmibeşoğlu, Meral Timurtürkan, Tuğce Tunca 3) Ankara University Established in 1946 and located in Ankara. Team members: Doç. Dr. Bedriye Poyraz, Seray Ulusoy 4) Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Established in 1992 and located in Çanakkale. Assoc. Prof. Selver Ö. Kahraman, Dr. Zahide A. Deniz, Berrin Gültay 5 5) Karadeniz Technical University Established in 1955 and located in Trabzon. Assoc. Prof. İlkay Özdemir, Prof. Dr. Ayşe Sağsöz, Assist. Prof. Muteber Erbay 6) Kocaeli University Established in 1976 and located in Kocaeli. Prof.Dr. Münevver Tekcan, Serpil Yazıcı Şahin, Yusuf Gürcan Şahin 7) Yıldız Technical University Established in 1911 and located in İstanbul. Dr. Ece Öztan, Dr. Setenay Nil Doğan 1) İstanbul Technical University (Coordinator) Established in 1773 and located in İstanbul. Prof. Dr. Gülsün Sağlamer, Prof. Dr. Mine G. Tan, Doç. Dr. Pelin Dursun, Dr. Özge A. Çelik, Dr. Nebile Korucu Gümüşoğlu, Hülya Çağlayan, Serra Cankur

6 6 Consortium NETFA Project Dissemination Conference 7th June 2013, ITU

7 Methodology The same dataset was collected by each partner university. An online questionnaire was prepared to be filled in by the scientists (both female and male) of the partner universities, and the answers were put into SPSS. Each partner university carried out 16 interviews, 8 with men and 8 with women, at different career levels. Final synthesis report was edited by ITU and covered the results of the whole survey. 7

8 Female PhD holders in different scientific areas (%)2009 In Turkey, proportions of female researchers with a PhD degree in such fields as natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, health sciences, engineering, manufacturing and construction exceed those of their counterparts in EU-25 countries. Education - Humanities and Art – Social Sciences,Management, Law - Natural Sciences, Maths, Computer Science – Engineering – Agricultural and Vetenary Sciences – Health Sciences The proportion of female Ph D holders in Turkey approximates the proportions in the EU-27 and EU-25 countries EU-27: 46 % EU- 25: 45 % Turkey: 45 %

9 Observations At Grade A level (professors) EU -27 average: 20 % Highest ranking countires : Romania– Litvania – Turkey The proportion of female professors (28%) in Turkey, with a population of 75 millions, becomes more noticeable at the European level when compared to Lithania ve Romania, countries with small populations. At Grade B level (associate professors) EU -27 average : 37 % Turkey: 35 % Below the averages of EU -27 At Grade C level (assistant profesors ) : EU- 27 : 44 % Turkey:48 % Ahead of the EU-27 average At Grade D level (research assistants) : EU- 27: 46 % Turkey: 48 % Ahead of EU-27 averages Turkey approximates the European average of 40% in total

10 Glass Ceiling Index, EU (2004, 2010) With a value of 1.52 Turkey is the country showing the lowest glass ceiling index at the European level

11 Observations Although there is a relatively high representation of women in the universities and the "glass ceiling" effect is very low when compared to most European countries, there are still very few women in the decision making bodies of the universites in Turkey. 9 women rectors Women rectors 2012 (7%) in a total of 173 universities Total of 173 Universities Number of Female Vice Rectors: 18 Number of Female Deans: 96 11

12 Findings and Discussion Summary of the Statistical Data Gathered by Partner Universities StudentsAcademic PersonnelDecision Making Bodies 12

13 13 Proportion of Female Students at Undergraduate and Graduate Levels, 2012 In total, the universities ITU, YTU which focus on engineering and natural sciences have approxiamately 35% female representation. Comprehensive universities have up to 55%. Students

14 A decrease in the proportions of female students at MA and PhD levels in all 7 universities was observed between Distribution of Female Students at Graduate level, 2012

15 Proportion of female academic staff, ABCD AKDU AUAU COMU ITU KTU KOU YTU Proportion of female academic staff by grade The proportion of female professors varies between 39 % in Ankara University and 10% in ÇOMU.

16 A ) The Proportion of Female Academic Staff by Academic Grade and Gender B) The Proportion of Male Academic Staff by Grade and Gender 16 The difference between the proportions of “assistant professors” and “full professors” is considered an important indicator signifying both the losses in the academic progress and the vertical segregation. The so called Leaky Pipeline phenomenon in different universities showed significant differences both between women and men and different universities. It was observed that the difference between the proportion of female assistant professors and female full professors in YTÜ is 9% and in ITU 11%. Kocaeli University can also be added to this group with 16%. The rest have quite big differences in terms of female representation at these levels such as: Ankara : 20% Akdeniz : 25% ÇOMU: 37% KTU: 24%

17 Concentration of female students in certain disciplines in line with the cultural stereotypes points to the horizontal segregation in the universities under study. In 5 of the partner universities the greatest number of female students are registered in the faculties of sciences and letters. In 3 universities, however, architecture faculties have the greatest number of female students. Similar tendencies have been observed in various EU countries. 17 Some Observations for Female Students and Academic Staff Corresponding proportions of female academics and female students were observed in different faculties of almost all universities. The faculties where the percentage of female academics is highest are; Architecture, Design, Medical Sciences, Sciences and Letters, Chemistry Metallurgy, Dentistry, Pharmaceutics, Medicine, Law and Management.

18 Some Observations on Decision Making Bodies The high ratios of female academics in Turkey have not been reflected at the level of administration in the partner universities of this project, either. In spite of the positive developments in women’s representation, a noticeable decrease in women’s participation in decision making bodies have been observed. In Sweden 45% of rectors whereas in Turkey only 7% are female Contrary to Sweden where universities take measures towards increasing women’s representation at decision making levels, Turkey has not taken any steps to improve the situation. 18

19 Online Questionnaires Questionnaires covered Demographic characteristics Job promotions Work place satisfaction, working hours and career breaks Academic activity Research Participation in National and International Research Projects Success Opinions on promotion of gender equality

20 Interview Thema Interviews focused on Career path Current position Access to resources Publications Work – life balance Critical areas, i.e. Discrimination Criteria of excellence 20

21 Career Path and Access to Resources 46.2% of women and 36.2% of men pointed to the pressures and discrimination in the academia as the reason for the rejection of the applications for academic promotion. 14% of women mentioned the negative approaches towards their gender as one of the main factors (Transparency) Another important conclusion about the career processes in relation to gender is that women experience interruptions in their careers in higher rates and for longer periods (Work-life balance) The in-depth interviews show that besides the economic reasons for both sexes interruptions in women’s carreers are due mostly to pregnancy and early child care while men face problems of mandatory military service and foreign language inadequacy (Financial &work-life balance issues) The search for scholarships is a decisive strategy employed by women. The number of female PhD students who receive scholarships exceeds the number of male PhD students who do the same (Gender specific scholarships and awards) 21

22 In terms of the use of time, the rates of men who find their working hours flexible are higher than the rates of women. Women cannot make use of the flexibility provided by academia in the same ways as men since they have domestic responsibilities of family and housework (Care centers for children and elder dependents) The particular emotion concerning family responsibilities is a determining factor for women, rather than men. The in-depth interviews suggest that the feeling of neglecting family and housecare keep on being a source of anxiety and unhappiness for women (Change of cultural patterns for sharing of household tasks) The tensions between home and work are increased during PhD and assistant professorship processes since these are the periods of intense academic obligations as well as biological reproduction and motherhood for many young women candidates (Supports specific to these stages) 22 Work - Life Balance

23 The narratives of women show that a certain manifestation of ‘loss’ has been associated with women’s responsibilities towards children and household. A female academic who has been working hard to gain her associate professorship stated that she has been neglecting her daughter since she was 6 months old, and that she has serious difficulties in balancing her responsibilities of motherhood and the necessities of the academia. Women, who have to work very hard during the process of their PhD studies and 3-5 years afterwards, later tend to devote whatever time left from their academic obligations to look after their families and children rather than getting involved in managerial positions. The female interviewees considered professorship as the position which would free them from the restrictions and pressures and enableing them to use their time and capacities to a full extent. 23 Work – Life Balance

24 Men seemed to be more pleased than women with their mentors. A closer look at the male networks in the academia, therefore, was found to be necessary. The current situation where men establish close relations through the process of mentorship suggested a link with the male dominated networks in academia, which also needs to be investigated in future research (Formation of networks of female academics) In terms of job satisfaction, both women and men emphasized their dissatisfaction with financial resources and the lack of time. Just as women’s double burden pressured the time needed for academic research it also limited the financially rewarding work activities outside of academia men could get engaged in (Financial improvements) 24 Work Place Satisfaction

25 Research and Scientific Excellence In terms of participation in national and international projects, women had a better performance than men. It was observed that the number of applications as well as the degree of success in the projects and the amount of projects successfully completed were all greater for women than men. The decisive factor, which brings along success in scientific research, is for both women and men ‘determination and hard work’. The most important factor for success in the projects for men is the positive infrastructure, which provides men with the necessary advantages while for women, cooperation within the academia is the key (Mentorship and networks) These differences were found to be statistically significant. Women needed more peer cooperation and support in the struggle with the tensions between the academia and the household responsibilities, which occur due to lack of time, intensive working environment and career breaks. Considering men’s advantageous positions as mentors, the ways in which women successfully compete for research projects are related to the ways in which they manage to develop higher degrees of cooperation. 25

26 Academic Activities Male and female academics have close rates in terms of being MA and PhD level advisors, having numbers of publications and evaluations The number of conference presentations that women undertake is higher than men, a difference which was found to be statistically significant. Women’s dilemma of time was defined as such: They had little time for their families due to their intensive working environment and less time for work because of the tensions arising from household responsibilities. 26

27 The findings of the NETFA Project uncover the contradictory dynamics of the academia in Turkey. These dynamics are deeply rooted in what seems to be as the egalitarian practices and arrangements of the higher education system in Republican Turkey, as well as the age old cultural patterns and stereotypes of the society. Our data reveal the anxieties and the conflicts entailed by these contradictions that academic women experience in their careers. With regards to how to improve gender equality in academia, women and men have differing opinions. Female academics draw attention to such solutions as gender specific benefits, flexible work regulations, gender quotas, special units to deal with violence, harassment, mobbing and sexism in universities, transparency and the equal distribution of funds for academic research. 27 Conclusions

28 Suggestions For further research Regional differences among the universities The decrease of female students at MA and PhD levels Comparison of the NETFA Project Results with UNICAFE Project Results For further action Establishment of NETFA website Widening of the Network of Female Academicians to cover all of the universities in Turkey 28

29 Thank You


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