Equality knocks

April 21, 2000

Professorial figures reflect appointment decisions made ten or even 20 years ago. In my subject area, modern languages, there has been increasing parity of appointment of male and female professors to externally advertised chairs over the past five years.

Growing numbers of retirements in old universities will present the opportunity to increase significantly the overall proportions of female and ethnic minority professors.

This will undoubtedly happen in social sciences and the humanities. But natural sciences are a problem, particularly as regards female professorial representation. Attention should focus on that area if there is to be any hope of redressing the imbalances you identify before Tony Blair receives his pension.

Steve Giles Chilwell, Nottingham

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