Higher education and research institutions are increasingly coming to terms with the issue of gender inequality. However, efforts to move in this direction are often isolated and difficult to compare and benchmark against each other. In this post, Caroline Wagner presents a new initiative from the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden (CWTS), to assess gender inequality […]
The careers of carers – A numerical adjustment cannot level the playing field for researchers who take time off to care for children
Quantitative measures of the effect of caring for children on research outputs (published papers and citations) have been used by some universities as a tool to address gender bias in academic grant and job applications. In this post Adrian Barnett argues that these adjustments fail to capture the real impacts of caring for children and should be replaced with […]
Gender bias in peer review has been much discussed in the wider research community. However, there have been few attempts to analyse the issue within the social sciences. To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), this post by Alex Holmes and Sally Hardy highlights research undertaken by the Regional Studies Association to investigate the effect of gender on peer review […]
Differences in men’s and women’s academic productivity persist and are most pronounced for publications in top journals
Sabrina Mayer & Justus Rathmann present statistical evidence indicating a persistent difference in research productivity between male and female professors in psychology. Examining the publication records of full psychology professors in Germany, they reveal that female professors are less likely to publish in top ranked journals and are more likely to adopt publication strategies that are focused on producing […]
On this International Women’s Day, and the first anniversary of the post originally appearing on the Impact Blog, Danica Savonick and Cathy N. Davidson have updated the Gender Bias in Academe bibliography with 17 new studies. Here, they offer a brief insight into some of these additions and also appeal to readers and collaborators to continue to share details of new studies so […]
In the late 1960s, many elite universities suddenly welcomed women to their undergraduate student bodies. However, as Nancy Weiss Malkiel explains, this was not the consequence of a high-minded commitment to opening opportunities to women but rather one of institutional self-interest. Little wonder, then, that coeducation has failed to lead to a levelling of the playing field for men […]
Is it really possible to ‘have it all’? In Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family,Anne-Marie Slaughter unravels the ‘half truths’ that lie behind this claim, examining how the struggle to manage increasingly incompatible life and work pressures remains particularly potent for women due to the continued gendering of caregiving. Drawing upon her own experiences, Slaughter calls for us to forge a […]
In a world in which ‘everyday sexism’ remains rife, progress on gender discrimination will require quotas
The UK continues to exhibit large disparities in power and representation between men and women. Gender inequality exists within the context of overlapping areas of social, political, professional and economic life. Only a systemic approach offers any hope of tackling the issue. Nicola Lacey of the LSE’s Commission on Gender, Inequality and Power shares findings from the final report, and recommends […]
Disrupting implicit bias: Crowdsourced database highlights women experts in the social sciences #WomenAlsoKnowStuff
Women academics face inherent biases in the profession that limit career progression and influence. Emily Beaulieu and Kathleen Searles reflect on the extent of the gender gap in political science and how we might address this gap. One example is the #WomenAlsoKnowStuff website, a searchable database of women experts which has become a rallying cry, with hundreds of expert […]
To fight the slow pace of gender equality in the workplace, attack the root cause: invisible, unconscious bias.
Gender diversity is correlated with better business results and enormous economic and business value. But unconscious bias continues to negatively affect women in the workplace in a number of ways, writes Caroline Turner. Those who manage teams must actively reveal and uproot these biases.
This piece is part of a wider series on Women in Academia and coincides with LSE Women: making history […]
Academic research plays an important role in uncovering bias and helping to shape a more equal society. But academia also struggles to adequately confront persistent and entrenched gender bias in its own corridors. Here Danica Savonick and Cathy N. Davidson have aggregated and summarised over twenty research articles on gender bias in academe, a crucial resource for International Women’s Day.
Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.
A series of studies across countries and disciplines in higher education confirm that student evaluations of teaching (SET) are significantly correlated with instructor gender, with students regularly rating female instructors lower than male peers. Anne Boring, Kellie Ottoboni and Philip B. Stark argue the findings warrant serious attention in light of increasing pressure on universities to measure teaching effectiveness. Given the unreliability […]
WOMID: A mentoring initiative for women working in international development aims to connect research and practice.
Balancing the early stages of a research career, while simultaneously keeping up to date with developments in the field generates some unique requirements for researchers in international development. WOMID is a new global mentoring initiative for women, facilitating mentorship between early career academics and practitioners. Alex Dorgan and Beth Harrison, who co-founded WOMID based on their own experiences of doing PhDs, explain […]
Women’s working lives in the managerial university and the pernicious effects of the ‘normal’ academic career.
University faculties need to be able to demonstrate to young people, male and female, that women can be just as inspiring teachers and researchers, and be able to live as enjoyable a domestic life as their male counterparts. Angela McRobbie reflects on how the ideal career track in the academy, suffused with constant benchmarking around ‘excellence’ and the REF’s logic […]
Confidence gap? Women economists tend to be less confident than men when speaking outside their area of expertise.
In male-dominated workplaces, women tend to be less confident than men. Heather Sarsons and Guo Xu conducted research into confidence levels of successful economists and found that the gender gap is largely driven by women’s lack of confidence when asked questions on topics outside their field of expertise. Addressing the confidence gap may require further thought over what the “right” level of confidence should […]
Tim Hunt’s remarks on women in science provide a sobering reminder on the everyday reality of systemic bias in the academic workplace. Rachel Moss writes that alongside sexism there is a deeper issue at play, which is about how professionalism itself is socially codified in academia. The “ideal” worker is intellectually engaged and rigorous, but emotionally restrained. But individuals do not necessarily […]
Robust empirical research shows that women are less likely to be hired for STEM jobs, as well as promoted, remunerated and professionally recognised in every respect of academic life. Earlier this month, however, a widely reported study suggested gender bias is largely a myth. Zuleyka Zevallos evaluates the study and argues it fails to simulate the conditions in which hiring decisions […]
What does it take to get to the top? Career progression based on narrow metrics disproportionately holds women back.
Drawing from a set of interviews conducted at Cambridge on career progression, Athene Donald discusses a collective letter calling on the entire higher education sector to reflect on how success is valued and rewarded. Across higher education, we have a process which is likely to disadvantage the typical woman, however smart and valuable she may be. Extrapolating from data accruing on […]
Public engagement events tend to appeal to those already interested in science. Soapbox Science is an alternative approach to engagement that encourages spontaneous public participation. Co-organisers Seirian Sumner and Nathalie Pettorelli discuss the event taking place in London on the 5th July underlining the primary goals of increasing the visibility of women in science. As summer finally sets in the UK, Soapbox […]