Gender, family and academic careers in Turkey

Hande Inanc, Berkay Özcan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Turkey has a remarkably high proportion of female full professors in its universities and in scientific fields (STEM) that are traditionally dominated by men in other countries. This could reflect a great deal of occupational gender equality but there has been a debate whether this equality came at the expense of family life. With the expansion of academia in the late 1990s and the erosion of childcare availability, whether institutional or familial, more recent cohorts of female academics may be paying a greater family penalty than their predecessors. We investigate these conjectures using the Turkish Academic Career Survey (TAC) – an original retrospective life-history study conducted in 2007 with a representative sample of around 4500 academics. We focus on the relationship between career progression and the family transitions of academics and analyze whether this relationship varies by scientific field and if professors advanced in rank during different stages of higher education's expansion in Turkey. We find a considerable gender gap in family formation outcomes of Turkish academics in all fields. Furthermore, we find that female academics that completed their PhDs after 1999 were not considerably at a higher risk of postponing parenthood compared to those who obtained their PhD's before the higher education expansion occurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-65
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Life Course Research
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Academic careers
  • Family formation
  • Gender
  • STEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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