The trench warfare of gender discrimination: evidence from academic promotions to full professor in Italy

Giulio Marini, Viviana Meschitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we aim to understand if gender makes a difference in the path to promotion to full professor in Italian universities, drawing on data from 2013 to 2016. The new promotion system pursuant Gelmini Law (210/2010) in Italy implies to go through two steps. First, they have to obtain the national ASN system (fit-for-the-role national filter), based on merit measured via bibliometric and non-bibliometric indicators. This step does not mean to get a position, it only means to be able to apply for it at institutional level. We believe that discrimination based on gender may happen especially at institutional level as in comparison to ASN there is less transparency and more autonomy at institutional level. It is also hypothesised that discrimination based on gender may differ according to the percentage of women already at full professor rank by disciplinary field. We investigate gender inequality using a binary variable (promoted or not promoted along 2013 until 2016) controlling by scientific productivity, normalised number of available vacancies, result of national research evaluation (VQR – department of candidate’s affiliation), age, current rank-and-file position. Multilevel logistic regression demonstrates that among those who obtained the ASN and at parity of other conditions, men have around 24% more probability to be promoted at parity of scientific production, which reveals a relevant gender discrimination. Our findings have implications on theory about inequality regimes and might serve to reflect on how to improve practices at institutional level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-1006
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Early online date9 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


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