Evans renews rights battle

June 13, 1997

CAMBRIDGE University faces a second legal challenge from history lecturer Gill Evans, this time over alleged discrimination against women.

Last month, Dr Evans applied for leave for a judicial review in the High Court, alleging that Cambridge had breached its statutes and mission statement over the promotion of academic staff. She has been embroiled in a long battle to change Cambridge's promotions procedures, which she says deny research-active lecturers legitimate opportunities.

Now Dr Evans has taken her campaign to an industrial tribunal. She has contacted the equal opportunities commission, which has yet to decide whether to adopt her case.

Her renewed campaign comes in the wake of last week's THES survey, which showed that only 13 of Cambridge's 247 professors are women. Dr Evans has also enlisted the support of barrister Amir Majid, who won a race discrimination case against London Guildhall University in July 1995.

A Cambridge spokeswoman said she could not comment about the High Court case, as the university had yet to receive any official application, but defended the university's equal opportunities record.

"There is a huge awareness of the low percentage of women at professorial level," she said. "But the percentage of women professors is almost the same as the percentage of the women who are applying for the jobs. It is not a question of discrimination - its a wider problem and we're not complacent about it."

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