The Gendered Analog-Digital Divide in Virtual Academia

Karin Grasenick, Sarah Beranek, Anne-Sophie Godfroy, Sybille Reidl, Pilar Flores Romero, Helene Schiffbänker, Johanna Stadlbauer, Julia Trattnig, Andrea Wolffram, Christine Waechter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


During the Covid-19 pandemic, in times of worldwide lockdowns, academic careers were impacted in a gendered way (Gabster et al., 2020): Existing gender inequalities have increased (Oleschuk, 2020) and female academics, especially early career researchers, have conducted less research compared to men (Viglione, 2020; Amano-Patiño et al., 2020). Also, women’s submissions to peer reviewed journals dropped radically. One might argue that the pandemic is over, and that academic life is back to normal, leaving us with the benefits of improved tools and practices for virtual collaboration. However, virtual academia risks increasing inequalities, an effect we will refer to as the analogue-digital divide. These risks affect especially researchers at the beginning of their career, and those who contribute to a greater extent to academic and family care work, which are mainly women. In this paper, we reflect and consolidate the findings of six projects with partners across Europe and two universities which analysed the lasting effects of the pandemic from the perspectives of researchers at different career stages, service staff, as well as decision makers in boards and juries. We conclude that strategies and measures developed before the Covid-19 pandemic do not consider virtual academia sufficiently. We thus suggest how to counteract the analog-digital divide with requests of funding organisations and implemented by research processing organisations in their gender equality plans (GEPs).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings of the STS Conference Graz 2022
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Issues in Science, Technology‚ and Society Studies 2-4 May 2022
EditorsGünter Getzinger, Michaela Jahrbacher, Franziska Häller
PublisherVerlag der Technischen Universität Graz
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-85125-932-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022
Event20th Annual STS Conference Graz 2022 „Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies" - Hotel Wiesler, Graz, Austria
Duration: 2 May 20222 May 2022

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Conference20th Annual STS Conference Graz 2022 „Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies"
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