Women have been underrepresented, and even excluded from academic life throughout history. As countries look to address ongoing inequality in academia, state-mandated gender quotas for academic boards and committees have emerged as a recommended practice in Europe. Although an increasing number of countries have adopted this policy model, little is known about its efficacy or consequences. Using country-level panel data from 25 European countries between 2003 and 2018, we explore the consequences of quotas on different measures of gender in/equality in academia. Findings indicate that quotas appear to achieve their intended direct effect of increasing the representation of women on academic boards, and this, in turn contributes to greater equality in academic staff and in senior professorship positions. Despite some concerns, there is little evidence that quotas incite a backlash.
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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- gender equality policy
- higher education public policy
ASJC Scopus subject areas