Governing diversity

December 3, 2015

We could not agree more that women are most affected by workaholic cultures, but our evidence shows that diversity is a concern for governors (“Female academic leaders suffer more from ‘workaholic’ hours culture”, News, 26 November).

Consistently, Athena SWAN applications confirm that women undertake more “caring” roles, such as pastoral care and outreach, than men. All too often, these efforts are not adequately recognised or addressed, and this must change. As part of the Athena SWAN awards process, the Equality Challenge Unit asks universities and departments about their workload allocation models and recommends that they put in place fair and transparent models that recognise all elements of the academic role if they wish to improve gender equality.

In a survey the ECU ran in Scotland, 79 per cent of governors agreed or strongly agreed that their governing body attaches a high level of priority to equality and diversity.

Furthermore, equality and diversity are placed at the heart of good governance by the Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance, which was developed through consultation with governors. Governors in other countries would do well to take a cue from their peers north of the border.

Chris Hall
Head of external relations
Equality Challenge Unit

Send to

Letters should be sent to:

Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday. View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck