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FRIDAY SEMINAR SERIES | Gender on ice: leadership for women in STEMM in a neoliberal, post-feminist context



Start Date

12 May 2017 1:00 pm

End Date

12 May 2017 2:00 pm


Room 586, Social Sciences Building, Sandy Bay Campus

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This is a free seminar and everyone is welcome to attend.

Institute for the Study of Social Change logo

An Institute for the Study of Social Change and School of Social Sciences seminar

presented by

Dr Meredith Nash, University of Tasmania

Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) fields worldwide, particularly in leadership positions. In this presentation, Dr Nash will discuss her findings from a mixed-methods study on the leadership experiences of 25 women in STEMM fields who were all participants in a three-week transformational leadership program in Antarctica in 2016. Drawing on pre-program data, Dr Nash uses intersectional analysis to examine how categories of identity have shaped the participants’ experiences of science leadership. She argues that women in this study seemed to be caught in an ideological dilemma between recognising sexism and gender bias in their organisational contexts and seeing their organisations as gender neutral. Considering this dilemma through the lens of Berlant’s (2006) conception of ‘cruel optimism’, she argues that a post-feminist climate and a neoliberal ethic of meritocracy in science problematically bind women to a fantasy of success in which leadership is only attainable through arduous effort.

Dr Meredith Nash is a senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Tasmania..


Institute for Social Change
University of Tasmania
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