Monday, 28 July 2014

Room at the top?

The BBC reports today on NUS Scotland's call for more women on University governing bodies.  That's an important component of decision-making, but another angle is the make up of the executive team in a university.  I've been looking at the gender make-up of university executive teams - a day going through institutional websites.  I'll post more in due course (there's lots of data to look at) but here's a first finding:

For each UK institution, I identified the top team - usually identified as the group which meets weekly/fortnightly and advises the VC; or as the team within the Vice-Chancellor's office - and counted the number of men and women, including the VC/Principal.  I didn't differentiate between academic and professional service (eg Finance Director, Registrar) roles.

I couldn't identify the team for every institution.  There's 131 institutions represented in the data above; for the remaining 30 institutions I couldn't identify the top team from the university website.  The mean proportion of women on executive teams is just short of 1/3; there's not much difference between this and the national averages for English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish universities.

The data doesn't show equality - if there was no gender bias there'd be a normal distribution curve.  But equally it doesn't say anything about any given university, or the intentions of Vice-Chancellors.

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