Grants, gender and glass ceilings? An analysis of ARC-funded archaeology projects

01st June 2009

Joann K. Bowman and Sean Ulm

A recent study by Smith and Burke (2006) found that barriers to women’s advancement existed in Australian academic archaeology workplaces. They examined gender biases in employment and publication rates, concluding that systemic barriers exist for women in archaeology despite recent initiatives towards greater gender equity. Smith and Burke identified funding as an area of interest but made only a cursory examination of this issue. We undertook an analysis of ARC-funded archaeology Discovery Projects awarded between 2001 and 2008 to further investigate the influence of gender biases on grant funding. Results show considerable gender disparity in a number of areas, including the gender composition of grant investigators, the amount of funding awarded, the geographical focus of grants and the awarding of fellowships. Of greatest concern is an apparent correlation between the gender of successful applicants and the ratio of women to men serving on the ARC’s Humanities and Creative Arts Panel responsible for the assessment of grant applications. In other words, institutional factors may be contributing to gender disparities in archaeology.

Image caption: All fellowship recipients according to gender and year (published in Australian Archaeology 68:34).
Joann K. Bowman and Sean Ulm
Grants, gender and glass ceilings? An analysis of ARC-funded archaeology projects
June 2009
68
31-36
Article
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