The Gendered Analog-Digital Divide in Virtual Academia

Publikation aus Policies
Technologie, Innovation und Politikberatung

K. Grasenick, S. Beranek, A.-S. Godfroy, S. Reidl, P. F. Romero, H. Schiffbänker, J. Stadlbauer, J. Trattnig, A. Wolffram, C. Wächter

Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz 20th Annual STS Conference Graz 2022 „Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies, 12/2022


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;


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


Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic, gender inequalities, lasting effects, virtual academia, gender equality plan, GEP

Url: https://openlib.tugraz.at/download.php?id=63c66e9d837c4&location=browse