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The issue of gender inequality in the Italian universities and academic context does not seem to be particularly debated and is really rare. Starting from this “lack of…
The issue of gender inequality in the Italian universities and academic context does not seem to be particularly debated and is really rare. Starting from this “lack of interest”, the paper aims to inquire into the “state-of-the-art” of existing inequality in the scientific and academic path of Italian female scholars and academia, answering the following research question: Is discrimination between women and men linked to the number of scientific contributions in periodicals and their presence within academic boards of scientific accounting associations and journals in Italy?
The methodology is primarily developed through a deductive analysis of the literature strands concerning gender accounting, accounting in academia and the role of women in universities and academia. Second, within the inductive perspective, the authors have chosen to inquire into the scientific publications of women on the oldest Italian journal in the accounting field – the Rivista Italiana di Ragioneria e di Economia Aziendale (RIREA). Subsequently, the position and career of women were analysed in academia investigating their presence and role within the boards of a sample of Italian journals and the main Italian accounting scientific associations
Accordingly, this paper concentrates on gender inequalities in university and academia in Italy and on eventual obstacles that get in the way of the existence of scientific contributions in journals and of career progress of those women who carry on scholarly work in accounting.
The analysis confirms the need to open more space for women at the summits of political, economic and cultural institutions, including accounting academia and scientific journals. The paper has some limitations concerning the consideration of only Italian journals and academic associations. Then, we will develop the analysis in comparative terms, as attention will be addressed on the participation in scientific committees and boards of some of the major international scientific associations of accounting. Moreover, we will consider the narrative approach describing the stories of Italian women and accounting scholars to carefully investigate the reasons for this persistent discrimination.
The innovative contribution of the paper is due to the fact that the authors are unaware of previous studies aimed at investigating if female accounting scholars are under-represented compared to their male colleagues within the top positions of the most prestigious Italian accounting associations and scientific journals. Previous research also did not investigate the existence of correlation between Italian women’s scientific productivity, their under-representation within academia and scientific career.