Gender equality at the University


Despite clear progress in the last decades, women continue to experience limited access to top positions in the academia, at least in some fields of science. Our goal in this project is to deepen understanding of the mechanisms underlying gender inequality at the university. We hope to be able to confirm or disprove a few subtle ways in which progress of women in science may be hindered.

Using a number of research methods, including interviews, experiments and scientometric analysis we will try to uncover clichés that may negatively affect evaluation of women’s academic work.

We hope that our project will help researchers, university authorities and administrators of science and higher education understand ways in which they can provide more of a level playing field for both genders.

Project partners (from Poland and Norway) will collaborate to analyse existing data and design new studies of gender inequality at the academia. We believe in the long run our project will contribute to sharing best practices in promoting gender equality at the university between Norway, Poland, and beyond. Among other things, surveys previously administered in Norway and targeted at PhDs will be reanalysed and conducted in Poland as part of the project. We will try to learn from the comparison of the results in the two countries.


Źródło finansowania: Fundusze Norweskie (

Promotor projektu: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydział Nauk Ekonomicznych

Partnerzy polscy: Uniwersytet Warszawski, The Robert B. Zajonc Institute for Social Studies

Partnerzy norwescy: Nordic Institute for studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU)

Łączny budżet projektu:  1 200 000 zł

Opublikowane | Published

  • Do gender and physical attractiveness affect college grades? | Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education

    In this study I use data on grades awarded for bachelor and master theses at a large Polish university, seeking to identify discrimination on gender or physical attractiveness. I focus on the gap between the grades awarded by the advisor (who knows the student personally) and the reviewer (who typically does not, so that gender is less salient and beauty is not observable). This provides an excellent control for actual quality of the work, which is often problematic in previous literature. Observations on nearly 15 thousand students are available, of which 2500 also have their physical attractiveness rated and included in my analysis. I can thus check if the advisor-reviewer grade gap depends on student’s gender and beauty, also in interaction with their genders. Overall, there is no evidence of such influence.

  • Are all researchers male? Gender misattributions in citations | Scientometrics

    I screen academic literature for cases of misattribution of cited author’s gender. While such mistakes are overall not common, their frequency depends dramatically on the gender of the cited author. Female scholar are cited as if they were male more than ten times more often than the opposite happens, probably revealing that citers are influenced by the gender-science stereotype. The gender of the citing author and the field of study appear to have only limited effect.

  • Author gender affects the rating of academic articles: Evidence from an incentivized, deception-free laboratory experiment | European Economic Review

    Even though women׳s position in academia has changed dramatically over the last few decades, there is still some evidence that when it comes to evaluation of scientific achievements, gender may play a significant role. Gender bias is particularly likely to take the form of statistical discrimination. In this study we sought to verify the hypothesis that researcher׳s gender affects evaluation of his or her work, especially in a field where women only represent a minority. Towards this end we asked a sample of subjects, mostly economics majors, to evaluate a paper written by mixed-gender couples, indicating that it was (co-)authored by a “female economist”, “male economist”, “young female economist” or “young male economist” or giving no information about the author at all. While age factor played no role, female authors appeared to be seen as less competent than males, in that subjects (being incentivized to give their best judgment) less often believed that their papers have been published. This effect did not interact strongly with the gender of the subject.