Impact of Gender and Conference Size on Conference Preferences – Employing Natural Language Processing

Eyal Eckhaus, Nitza Davidovitch

APA 6th edition
Eckhaus, E., & Davidovitch, N. (2018). Impact of Gender and Conference Size on Conference Preferences – Employing Natural Language Processing. IJEM - International Journal of Educational Methodology, 4(1), 45-52. doi:10.12973/ijem.4.1.45

Eckhaus E., and Davidovitch N. 2018 'Impact of Gender and Conference Size on Conference Preferences – Employing Natural Language Processing', IJEM - International Journal of Educational Methodology , vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 45-52. Available from:

Chicago 16th edition
Eckhaus, Eyal and Davidovitch, Nitza . "Impact of Gender and Conference Size on Conference Preferences – Employing Natural Language Processing". (2018)IJEM - International Journal of Educational Methodology 4, no. 1(2018): 45-52. doi:10.12973/ijem.4.1.45


This pilot study focuses on the impact of academic conferences from a gender-based perspective. What motivates faculty members to attend conferences? Which conferences do they choose? Can differences be found between men and women in their attitude to the effect of the conference and its contribution to their academic work, in light of many studies on the significance women attach to the value of family and its prioritization over their career? The study dealt with a case study of one university in Israel. Ninety four academic faculty members from a variety of departments completed a questionnaire, including 60.9% women and 39.1% men. The main finding is that, among both men and women, academic conferences are perceived as contributing to their professional development. Faculty members addressed the contribution of conferences to their professional development. Findings showed that professional focusing during conferences results in publications and develops interest in the conference – and not vice versa, i.e., it is not interest in the conference that leads to publications. It was also found that the size of the conference predicts the significance of the focus on professional aspects. From a gender perspective, women prefer small conferences. In addition, for women, although they prefer small conferences they attach significance to collaborations that lead to professional focusing on their fields of research. Women appear to bring their "family-oriented patterns" to their work, explaining their inclination to small and more intimate conferences. The research findings might have an impact on the consideration given to planning academic conferences in order to reach the academic outcomes expected by faculty members who perceive conferences as an essential platform for their professional development.  

Keywords: Gender, conference, natural language.


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