AUT 'names and shames' on equality

May 15, 1998

LEAGUE tables of institutions with a low number of women in senior posts have been published for the first time, writes Harriet Swain.

The tables, drawn up by the Association of University Teachers, show 16 universities and colleges had no women professors and eight had no women senior researchers or senior lecturers. Overall, just 15.5 per cent of senior staff and 8.5 per cent of professors were women.

Only a third of institutions surveyed monitored appointments for gender, ethnicity and disability.

The University of Plymouth had the poorest male:female ratio of professors at 43:1, close behind was the University of Strathclyde at 41:1 and UMIST at 37:1.

Sheffield, Reading, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bath and Cambridge universities were all in the worst 20, with ratios of at least 18:1.

Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside and the Universities of Derby and Glamorgan were among those with at least one male professor but no females.

Specialist art and music colleges appear particularly poor at appointing women. All but three of the institutions with no women senior researchers or senior lecturers were art or music based.

Of the 155 institutions about which the AUT gathered information, 35 had no childcare provision for pre-school children.

The tables are the first salvo in a campaign to "name and shame'' institutions with poor equal opportunities records.

More tables will follow over the next few months on institutions with the highest number of staff on fixed-term contracts, numbers of staff from ethnic minorities and numbers with a disability.

AUT general secretary David Triesman said: "We have become increasingly alarmed by the fact that as we look around the system, we can find a large proportion of institutions with policies about equal opportunities and a small proportion that have done anything about it." He said if policies had not persuaded them to change, perhaps shame would.

The AUT collected figures from the 1995/96 Higher Education Statistics Agency returns.

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