Mind the gap: Gender disparities still to be addressed in UK Higher Education geography
Reason for embargo
This paper evidences persistent gender inequalities in UK higher education (HE) geography departments. The two key sources of data used are: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data for staff and students, which affords a longitudinal response to earlier surveys by McDowell and McDowell and Peake of women in UK university geography departments, and a qualitative survey of the UK HE geography community undertaken in 2010 that sought more roundly to capture respondent reflections on their careers, choices, status and experiences. Findings show that although the gender gap is closing within HE geography in the UK there are significant ongoing gender disparities. Therefore, the paper argues that the long and demanding process of reducing gender inequalities (alongside other, equally vital intersectional inequalities) requires continued commitment. Furthermore, respondents evidence the cost of these inequalities: enablers and barriers to job security and career progression can have long-term impacts on quality of life and financial security, and affect personal life decisions. In recent years the UK-based Athena Swan and Gender Equality Charter Mark agendas have prompted universities to address gendered disparities and the authors note a changing zeitgeist. The survey findings point to the need for sustained leadership within geography departments to address the day-to-day gender - and other - inequalities experienced in the workplace.
We thank the RGS-IBG for a small grant that funded the data collection costs for this research, alongside funding from WGSG subventions and publications.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 48 (1), pp. 48–56