Exploring gendered attributional disparities in student outcomes: are universities complicit?

Fischer, Isabel and Luiz, John (2021) Exploring gendered attributional disparities in student outcomes: are universities complicit? 81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Virtual, 29 July - 4 August 2021. Published in: Academy of Management Proceedings. 2021 (1) Academy of Management ISSN 0065-0668

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Whereas female students in the UK, on average, outperform their male counterparts academically whilst at university, within five years of graduation a substantial gender pay gap emerges. Various reasons have been put forward for why this may be the case. We seek to contribute towards the understanding of this disparity by focusing on the students’ learning whilst at university and ask whether universities are preparing students effectively for the workplace or contributing towards gender inequality through their practices. Underpinned by attribution theory we use a mixed methods approach, combining both quantitative and qualitative aspects, in which we survey and interview 356 generation Z students, faculty and employers to unpack their perceptions of factors contributing towards students’ academic and career success. While students stressed the importance of their own agency and the role of organizational and time management skills, employers highlighted skills associated with teamwork, communication, and the role of confidence. The importance of gender differences manifested strongly with both employers and students indicating that female students tend to prioritize planning and organizational skills as a way to compensate for a lack of confidence, rather than being supported in building confidence. This, in turn, affects how female students approach their university and workplace experience. We examine tensions between students, employers and faculty to investigate how universities can play a role in addressing this gendered experience and outcome. We contribute towards the understanding of how Butlerian gender performativity linked to attribution theory manifests in the higher education sector.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Strategy and Marketing
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SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2021 07:03
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2021 13:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/100093

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