Bottom line on chairs

November 17, 1995

In her article on the shortage of female professors, "Prisoners of Gender" (THES, November 3), Helena Kennedy raises many important points, yet fails to tackle the key issues.

As long as universities treat glossy staff-development weekends, free car-parking space, evening networking events and "burning the midnight oil" as legitimate expenditure and necessary CV-making professional activities, but view the cost of subsidised "child-parking" facilities, an inability to attend breakfast and evening meetings and the occasional days spent working at home while nursing sick dependants, as illegitimate costs and evidence of lack of professional commitment bordering on "scarpering", the glass ceiling will remain intact.

Only women without domestic responsibilities, or with partners willing and well-off enough to share the time and high costs of domestic support and labour, will be able to crack its bulletproof strength.

Brilliance or no brilliance.

E. Stina Lyon

Principal lecturer

Department of sociology

South Bank University

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