Although women are earning progress in UK universities with numbers reaching One in five C up from 3% in 1989 C a more dedicated effort is needed to bring gender parity to raised education classrooms and offices, writes Louise Tickle for The Guardian. The picture is much more dire in other areas of the world where while women are earning gains attending college education, the number of females in professorial roles is constantly on the lag substantially.
Many women’s rights activists are seeing this as foot dragging through the establishment and therefore are now demanding a radical solution that will finally bring more women into higher positions of power in academia. A number of such proposals were voiced in the Going Global conference held in Dubai and sponsored through the British Council which dealt with issues of gender equality on the global scale. One of the suggestions was making gender parity one of the markers which the overall quality of international institutions is judged.
Schools in which the number of senior positions was filled mainly by men would have their international rankings suffer as a result.
It’s the very first demand of six in what is being known as a?Manifesto for Change for ladies in Academic Leadership and Research. Female academics, the manifesto says, should also start getting much more of the big money for studies, with “gender implications and impact” being included by grant making bodies as criteria by which funding applications are assessed.
Other points include a requirement for “mainstreaming”, so that diversity is fundamentally incorporated throughout a university’s practices and operations, and the development of a global database on women and leadership in advanced schooling, so that it’s easier to see how slowly C or indeed how quickly C the situation improves country based on country.
Similar conferences are now being held by the British Council in places like Tokyo and Hong Kong, with the aim of determining why gender parity in university settings seems to be lagging all over the world. Professor Louise Morley, who analyzed data from institutions of higher education from around the world for the Centre better Education and Equality Research said that similar patterns if gender disparity in play in nearly every country she looked at.
“Barriers include the failure to recognize, identify and nurture women’s talent, the gendered division of labour within the academy, with women frequently responsible for the organisational housework, [and the] view that men are more suited to leadership authority,” says Morley.
Even when strides happen to be made to close the gap, the result is not always good news. Based on Morley, in countries where women have made strides in academia the prestige of academic work fell consequently. In Philippines and Sri Lanka, for example, as women penetrate the upper echelon of higher education systems, pay levels fall and also the regard for the profession declines as well.
“Higher education must make appointment of ladies academic administrators and development of young female academic talents a part of their strategic goals. I have seen this to work at [my university] with the setting up of gender diversity like a key performance indicator. In addition, the institutes are held accountable for gender diversity and for the remedial measures to be taken where necessary. Until this is accomplished, women academics will continue to be excluded and marginalized from becoming senior, influential players in HE.”