The rhetoric of PDP in higher education: a gender-neutral discourse?

James Moir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Personal development Planning (PDP) has become a central feature for students in higher education and is linked to employability. This has come about as the result of an awareness that in a globalized education and workplace market, students need to be more competitive in developing and marketing their academic and other skills. However, this inner-directed process has spawned a discourse of voluntarism that dissolves engagement with political issues such as the gender implications of programmes of study and associated careers. This paper argues that a gender-neutral focus on the ‘person’ can potentially lead to the maintenance of inequalities for career pathways for men and women. This conceptualization is compared with that of work-life balance which, in effect, is taken as applying more to women than men, but which is formulated within gender-neutral discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IAC 2020 in Vienna
EditorsHelena Kratochvílová, Radek Kratochvíl
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherCzech Institute of Academic Education
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9788088203179
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2020
EventInternational Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and E-learning - virtual, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 24 Jul 202025 Jul 2020


ConferenceInternational Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and E-learning
Abbreviated titleIAC-TLEl in Vienna 2020
Internet address


  • Personal development planning
  • Gender
  • Higher education


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