Understanding the social and institutional factors related to the retention and progression of selected female academics in four higher education institutions in Zimbabwe
This study set out to investigate the social and institutional factors which impact on the retention and progression of female academics in four universities in Zimbabwe. Drawing on a qualitative research methodology the aim of the study was to understand the social and institutional factors related to the retention and progression of female academics in four institutions in Zimbabwe. In seeking to unpack the factors that shape the low representation of female academics in occupational spheres, the study finds unequal gender-based patterns in Zimbabwean society as a key condition that finds its way into the four institutions. In this regard, the patterns and shape of gender relations, based on the principles of kinship, become the platform for unequal relations among male and female academic staff. This manifests itself in different ways, including the (negative) role played by the extended kin family in the progression of married women academics to higher level management posts, resistance to women's authority by both men and women, the culture of male domination within institutions which works to the disadvantage of female academics and stereotypical behaviour by men within the institutions.