Female Academic Career Development and Administrative Positions at Addis Ababa University: a Mixed-Method Study
Background: In Ethiopia, the number of female in academia in general and in administrative positions and higher university ranks in specific is very small as compared to men. A slight change has been seen in recent years, where a few women have come to male-dominated administrative positions as university presidents, vice presidents, deans and directors with still insignificant increase in the number of full professors.
Objective: This study assessed female faculty member's career development and involvement in administrative positions and explored challenges.
Method: We used a sequential mixed-method study starting with a cross-sectional quantitative study among 888 faculty members. The quantitate data were analysed using descriptive statistics and regression models to identify independent predictors of administrative involvement using SPSS version 25 software. An exploratory qualitative study was done among eight purposively selected female faculty. NVivo10 data management software was used to code and categorize the transcripts.
Result: We found that male faculty members were more likely to involve in administrative positions than their female counterparts [AOR (95%CI) 1.6(1.1, 2.4)]. Those who were provided housing facility by AAU [AOR (95%CI) 2.29 (1.61, 3.23)] and assistant professors and above [AOR (95%CI) 1.495 (1.01, 2.220)] were more likely to involve in an administrative position than their counterparts. The qualitative findings indicated that the low salary faculty earns, lack of networks and family responsibility have deterred females from taking administrative positions.
Conclusion: Female faculty involvement in the university administrative position and career development is very low. Both structural and personal factors such as gender roles affected their professional enhancement in academic ranks and hence positions. Creating a conducive platform for female faculty development is recommended to increase their involvement in administrative positions. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2021; 35(SI-2):30-39]
Keywords: Addis Ababa University, administrative positions, career development, female academician, female faculty