nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2006‒05‒27
one paper chosen by
Jonas Holmstrom
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. The Shortage of Sheilas: Why so Few Women Economists at Macquarie? By Melanie Beresford; Andrea Chareunsy

  1. By: Melanie Beresford (Department of Economics, Macquarie University); Andrea Chareunsy (Department of Economics, Macquarie University)
    Abstract: Only 19 per cent of academic staff in the Economics Department at Macquarie University are women, a proportion that has not improved over the last decade. We investigate the reasons for this gender imbalance, focusing particularly on why it is that few qualified women have applied for positions. Declining numbers of economics graduates is a national phenomenon, but data from Macquarie show that this is a trend that particularly affects women. We found, from our surveys of staff and students in the Department, that the relative shortage of women is primarily related to attitudes and decisions taken either prior to the commencement of university studies or due to external influences such as pressure of family commitments. Interestingly, however, a higher proportion of female than male third-year students showed an interest in pursuing an academic career. While attitudes of staff were generally found to be gender neutral, we found some evidence that staff members could do more to encourage these students.
    Keywords: Gender equity, women economists, undergraduate and postgraduate economics, economics teaching, Macquarie University
    JEL: A11 A14 A2 I21 J16
    Date: 2006–05

This nep-sog issue is ©2006 by Jonas Holmstrom. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.