Tag Archive | "higher education"

‘The Unequal Academy’ : a one day conference to explore gender inequality in academia


Women’s under-representation in education settings, and especially in their more powerful or influential posts is well established. In 27 countries of the European Union women occupy just only 20 per cent of A grade (full professor) (She Figures, 2012). In UK universities, men outnumber women by a margin of four to one in senior academic positions while women are over-represented in lower teaching grades and temporary research positions (Morley, 1999; Bagilhole, 2002). The under-representation of women within the academy extends to editorial board memberships (Metz & Harzing, 2009) and research funding bodies (European Commission, 2008). Finally, of the 24 research-intensive universities comprising the Russell group, only one namely, The University of Manchester is led by a woman.

global gender index
global gender index

These gender differences are even more pronounced in science and technology as the Times Higher Education’s Global Gender Index shows (Times Higher Education) but these differences are also evident in business and management schools. In my recent article I have analysed the data from the top 10 business schools around the world using the Financial Times rankings to show that women rarely exceed more than a quarter of all academic staff and that their representation in leadership positions is even lower (Fotaki, 2013). However, statistics do not show the informal processes of exclusion, devaluation, and marginalization that constitute major impediments to women faculty members’ achievements. These strike at the very heart of the academic enterprise, posing questions about the gendering of meritocracy. The absence of women from senior roles in management education settings may also have a potentially detrimental impact on promoting different role models for future operatives and leaders.

The dramatic increase of numbers of students and university lecturers in higher education, and management schools in the UK in particular, has hardly altered the nature of gendered work relations in the university. The majority of women academics occupy lower-paid teaching posts and temporary research positions and their unequal pay and career prospects are well documented. Gender inequalities and various forms of discrimination are also experienced by students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For example, women remain a minority on MBA courses, and there are very few programmes aiming to develop female business leaders (Ibeh et al., 2008).

Gender discrimination is culturally embedded and ideologically-informed stereotypes prove particularly difficult to shift. Researchers indicate how ‘feminine’ roles from outside professional life seem to continue to disadvantage women’s careers, and how their careers limit their personal life choices. However, complex considerations affecting women’s position in academia extend beyond marital status and the presence or absence of children or the existence of institutional policies aiming to promote gender diversity. Since gender stereotypes are ideological and prescriptive, their influence on academic employment processes is unlikely to diminish simply with the passage of time or with accumulating evidence of women’s capabilities. Women’s relative absence from senior academic positions is not simply a result of poor policy or erratic implementation, but a deep-seated issue requiring cultural and generational change.

Tomorrow’s one day research conference  – ‘The Unequal Academy’  – will explore these issues, bringing together scholars from across a range of disiplinies and institutions to interrogate the nature and effect of these gender inequalities within academies. The aims of the one-day conference are:

(i)                 To examine in-depth the causes of such discrimination from a comparative perspective by drawing on a variety of theoretical approaches and empirical evidence;

(ii)               To understand the reasons for discrepancy between university policies which are aimed to preclude discrimination and the lived experiences of women

(iii)             To propose evidence-based ways of counteracting this phenomenon.

Speakers include: Prof Mary Evans London School of Economics and Political Science, Prof Rosalind Gill Kings College London, Prof Valerie Hey Sussex University, Prof Rosemary Deem Royal Holloway University of London, Prof Helen Gunter University of Manchester and Prof Marianna Fotaki Manchester Business School.

The event, sponsored by Jean Monet Interdisciplinary Research Centre, is organised on 5th of June in Manchester Business School Manchester Business School (MBS West room 3.97 9.30-17.30). Attendance is free but registration is required –please contact Sophie.Thomas@mbs.ac.uk to book your place!

The event is organised by Marianna Fotaki, Professor in Health Policy, Organisation Theory and Ethics in People Management and Organisations Division, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester. Marianna.Fotaki@mbs.ac.uk

References

Bagilhole, B. (2002). Challenging equal opportunities: Changing and adapting male hegemony in academia. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23, 1, 19-33.

European Commission (2012). She Figures. Women and Science. Statistics and Indicators. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

European Commission (2008). Mapping the Maze: Getting More Women to the Top in Research. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Fotaki, M. (2013). No woman is like a man (in academia): The masculine symbolic order and the unwanted female body. Organization Studies (forthcoming)

Ibeh, K., Carter, S., Poff, D. & Hamill, J. ‘How focused are the world’s top rated business schools on educating women for global management?, Journal of Business Ethics, 2008, 83:65–83.

Morley, L. (1999). Organising Feminisms: the Micro-politics of the Academy, Basingstoke, McMillan.

Times Higher Education, (2013) The Global Gender Index published on 2nd May 2013.

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‘Doesn’t being a sexual subject risk you being slut-shamed?’ Talking to teenagers about sex and feminism.


If I had been shown this poem, ‘If you don’t come…’ by Christa Bell at age 17, I think it would have blown my mind.  (If you haven’t seen it, I guarantee it will be the best four minutes of your day if you watch it now).  I was aiming for a high shock value when I showed it to a group of sixth form students at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, the top state sixth form in the country.  I had been asked to do a lunchtime talk on feminism for students by their sociology teacher, who told me that his students were sceptical about feminism and didn’t see the need for it – a red rag to a bull!  After consulting the glorious feminist twittersphere, I decided to talk about the equal right to sexual pleasure. Read the full story

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Enterprising, Enduring, Enabling? Early Career Efforts and ‘Winning’ Workshops


I was recently invited to present and participate in a British Sociological Association (BSA) workshop organized by the Early Career Researchers (ECRs) Study Group conveners, Dr Katherine Twamley and Dr Mark Doidge. The title of the workshop ‘What is a Winning Funding Application?’ posed an urgent, anxious question, felt as I planned my delivery and attempted to answer a loaded query, literally worth a lot. I wondered how I would, with colleagues, ‘workshop’ my way out of funding crises and the destruction of UK Higher Education: how to keep things constructive and positive in a harsh new climate? To enable rather than dissuade even as ‘early career’ is ever extended across the career trajectory which means some never ‘arrive’? Read the full story

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GEA 2013: Compelling Diversities, Educational Intersections: Policy, Practice, Parity


Gender and Education Association Biennial Conference 2013

Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research, London South Bank University

Tuesday 23rd- Friday 26th April 2013

 

Confirmed keynote speakers:

- Prof. Lisa Adkins, University of Newcastle, Australia (What Do Wages Do? Feminist Theory After the Financial Crisis)

- Prof. Val Gillies, Weeks Centre, LSBU (From Baby Brain to Conduct Disorder: the New Determinism in the Classroom)

- Bidisha: From Eastern Primitivism to Western Decadence? Overcoming the Notion of Cultural Differences in Gender, Race and Class Politics

 

Plenary Panel:

- Dr Tracey Reynolds, Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research, LSBU

- Dr Jin Haritaworn, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

- Dr Kay Inckle, Trinity College Dublin

- Dr Jayne Osgood, London Metropolitan University

- Dr Vanita Sundaram, University of York

 

Performance:

- Dr Claudia Brazzle, Liverpool Hope University

- Teddy Nygh, Director of Riot From Wrong and Co-Founder of Fully Focused

 

The ninth international Gender and Education Association conference, Compelling Diversities, Educational Intersections hosted by the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research, engages with key debates surrounding the interplay between dynamics of education, work, employment and society in the context of crisis, upheaval and cutbacks, which reconfigure axes of intersectional inequalities. In considering diversity in education, this conference will explore the relationship between new equality regimes and continued educational inequalities, exploring organisational ambivalence, change and resistance. It will ask important questions about the role of feminist research at a time when education, and its variously placed subjects (academics, pupils, students, and policy makers), wrestle with the commitments and contentions in doing diversity and being diverse.

 

Book your place

If you are paying by debit or credit card, please book online using Eventbrite at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/4743075667

If you wish to receive an invoice or have any queries, please email enterprise-events@lsbu.ac.uk

 

Conference Fee

£380 – Standard conference booking fee – Member*

£420 – Standard conference booking fee – Non-member

£150 – Standard day rate

 

* To obtain your discount code, necessary for member discount, please contact Alice Jesmont (a.jesmont@lancaster.ac.uk)

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Is university life becoming more sexist?


Undergraduate students at Cardiff University are gearing up to discuss whether life at university is becoming more sexist. As part of this Emily Parnell, an undergraduate student, reflects on Carnage UK: Pimps ‘n’ Hoes Read the full story

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Care, the elephant in the (class)room?


Historically, in the UK and other European countries, the figures of the learner and the scholar have been associated with being care-free (i.e. with having no primary responsibility for dependents). These days, universities have considerably diversified, both in terms of their workforce and of their student population. Students with caring responsibilities now represent a significant presence in academia. According to the Student Income and Expenditure Survey, 8% of full-time students and 36% of part-time students who are English-domiciled are parents (Johnson et al., 2009). The National Union for Students established that, altogether, a third of Further Education and Higher Education students in England and Wales care for a dependent (NUS, 2009). Read the full story

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Trying to Triumph? Academic Cares and Capacities


Triumphs:  Story 1

She’s just won a prestigious prize (at a prestigious conference): praise was rightfully delivered and she basked it the glory, in the surprise that seemed to say she’d arrived in academia (early career no more). But she was worried. Did this really signal a safety in arriving, a recognition of value, labour, contributions? Or did it signal more labour, maybe this time without recognition or value? When the stakes are set so high do we have no choice but to keep apace, to endlessly indicate, effect and fear our own (in)capacities? When we compete with colleagues in a competitive university-marketplace – and when competition is so close it is generated by-ourselves-for-ourselves (as ‘keeping up’, ‘what next?’) – what cares, connections, capacities are rendered near and far? I tell her to add her award to her email signature, a neat summary quickly conveying who she is as a hyperlinked bio. But I pause. There’s a borderline between the achieving academic, the celebrity star and the pretentious, (self)promotional subject. I pause. These are laboured cares. Read the full story

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Compelling Diversities, Educational Intersections: Policy, Practice, Parity


The Gender and Education Association would like to announce that the ninth international Gender and Education conference will be held at London South Bank University from Tuesday 23rd – Friday 26th April 2013. Read the full story

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Gender and UK Higher Education Policy: Facts, Figures and Futures


As GEA policy officer, I was interested to have the chance to interview Professor Sir Adrian Smith, a very eminent mathematician and former Principal of Queen Mary University of London, on how the current UK Government is approaching policies on higher education and gender. Sir Adrian is the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)’ champion for equalities and diversities. He is keen to advance women’s position in universities amongst other inequalities. Read the full story

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Gender and UK Higher Education Policy: Review of The Pinch by David Willetts


Given the huge furore when David Willetts, the UK Government Minister for Universities and Science, stated in a public speech in April 2011 that ‘feminism had trumped egalitarianism’ and university-educated women were to blame for taking working class men’s jobs in January 2012, I went in search of his book The Pinch. Read the full story

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Gender and Education Association

  • Promoting feminist scholarship and practice in gender and education internationally, nationally and locally
  • Providing an influential feminist voice
  • Promoting and problematising knowledge on gender and education
  • Encouraging teaching, learning, research and publication on gender and education
  • Providing a source of expertise and knowledge for policy makers
  • Creating networks to facilitate the exchange of information between our members.

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