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Is the university gender gap a barrier to free expression?
Article here. Excerpt:
'At the University of Bristol the stagnating number of female academics in multiple degree subjects has become an increasingly important and concerning issue. Over 65.4% of Bristol students, according to my March 2014 survey, perceived a noticeable imbalance of female to male lecturers. I agree. My research led me towards an obvious concern for Bristol students: gender inequality of academia in all subjects.
With The Independent reporting that 63.9% of female undergraduates are leaving universities with “good” degrees, a lack of visibility of female academics at the University of Bristol — especially in the more scientific faculties — is in stark contrast to the number of undergraduates in the same subjects. More and more articles are appearing asking “Where are the men?” seeking to discover why the gender gap of undergraduates is weighted in women’s favour, but few have even commented on the fact that women are still struggling for visibility as academics. Women are avoiding the academic world and important questions must be asked about whether this is evidence of institutional laziness on the part of universities.
It’s obviously a more complex topic than can be covered in my brief assessment but the debate needs to be breached, universities need to answer questions about their hiring process and work together to close any forms of gender imbalance that still exist in higher education – including the wage gap. The statistics referred to above appear to support the conclusion that women are still experiencing sexism, especially when applying for jobs in STEM departments.
Universities would be well advised to address the issue swiftly so that the gender balance of academic, at the very least, reflects the gender balance of their undergraduates. Research support gender equality, so why aren’t universities?'
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