A gender perspective on working conditions in academia during the pandemic


Working from home puts stress on families, and affects men and women in different ways. Preliminary data from a qualitative study on working conditions in academia during the pandemic from the Jagiellonian University were presented at the recent Social Boundaries of Work international conference held in Lublin, Poland. The data indicates that Polish academics experience ambivalences that stem from competing demands for them as professionals and care givers.

The data suggests that these tensions range from between their different academic roles, from contradictory cultural values and the disconnection between those values and the socially available ways of achieving them. The data was presented by MindtheGEPs project team of researchers from the Jagiellonian University: Paulina Sekuła, Aleksandra Migalska and Ewa Stoecker.

Paulina Sekuła, PhD, is assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland
Paulina Sekuła, Assistant Professor
Jagiellonian University, Krakow

According to the research women find it more difficult to conform to the norm of the full commitment to academic work due to care-giving responsibilities. This means that there are unequal gender opportunities in meeting the requirements of scientific excellence due to gender bias.

"The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated already existing tensions in academia. Our data shows that an intersectional perspective is necessary. In order to understand the complexity of inequalities in academia we need to look at gender in combination with other categories, such as care giving obligations, age and career stage”, says Paulina Sekuła.

The MindtheGEPs research team from Jagellonian University recommend to do more qualitative research to explore possible strategies for dealing with  ambivalences experienced during the academic career, especially considering the intersectional perspective.

Visit the Social Boundaries of Work conference website or have a look at the programme

By Josepine Fernow

News from MINDtheGEPs

Last modified: 2023-08-25