This paper explores the gendered identities of women academics in accounting and management academia. Drawing upon autoethnographical detail, we reflect upon the complexities of identities as they are constructed, developed, experienced and understood both by ourselves and others. By presenting several short autobiographical vignettes, we examine perceptions of the gendered identity of women in academia as caring, ‘motherly’ and nurturing, and we demonstrate attempts to exploit so-called ‘natural’ feminine, mothering traits as a means of fulfilling the pastoral and administrative components of universities. In considering such stereotypes, we address examples of their selffulfilment, whilst considering how academic structures and practices also impose such distinctions. We consider negative implications for the career success of women academics in the ‘real business’ of academia, typified by research, publications and academic networking, arguing that until these stereotypes are challenged, women academics will continue to be disadvantaged within academic institutions
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