Gender equity: even sector’s best not good enough

Discrimination against women persists in the UK academy, even in institutions that have been recognised for their good employment practices, according to the 2014 Times Higher Education Best University Workplace Survey.

Of the survey’s 4,584 respondents, who hold academic, professional and support roles across the sector, 63 per cent agree or strongly agree with the statement “my university offers a fair and effective equal opportunities policy”, but more than one in three (37 per cent) do not.

Academics identifying themselves as arts and humanities scholars have the least confidence in their university’s approach to equal opportunities, with less than half (46 per cent) of the 427 respondents in these areas saying they felt their institution’s policy was up to scratch. Among the 218 academics working in medicine, veterinary medicine or dentistry, this figure rises to 62 per cent – the highest of any subject grouping.

However, it is in the 6,500-plus comments left by the survey’s many participants that more nuanced detail about difficulties faced by university employees is revealed.

“The promotion and reward structure discriminates against women,” writes one Russell Group arts and humanities academic. “Powerful men at the top exist in their own bubble, making often bad decisions without consultation.”

via Gender equity: even sector’s best not good enough | News | Times Higher Education.


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