Despite over thirty years of activism and legislation to eliminate discrimination, parity has yet to be achieved for women in academe. This book describes policy discourse analysis as a framework for considering how those involved in policy-making efforts may make use of discourses that inadvertently undermine the intended effect of the policies they set forth. Allan illustrates the methods of policy discourse analysis by describing their use in a study of twenty-one women's commission reports. In so doing, she highlights the important work of university women's commissions while uncovering policy silences and making visible the powerful discourses framing gender equity policy initiatives in higher education. Her findings reveals how dominant discourses of femininity, access, professionalism, race, and sexuality contribute to constructing women's status in complex and at times, contradictory ways. This important volume will interest researchers across a number of disciplines including policy studies, educational leadership, higher education and cultural studies of education.