Proportion of female professors up, but still below a quarter

Professors are several percentage points more likely to be women than they were a decade ago, new figures show

February 28, 2015

Some 22 per cent of professors – 4,415 out of 19,750 in total - were female in 2013-14 compared with just 15 per cent in 2003-04, according to a report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

The report, titled Staff in Higher Education 2013-14, which was published on 26 February, also says 45 per cent of the UK’s 194,245 academic staff are women.

A third of senior academic staff, excluding professors, are women, the report explains.

Women outnumber men in non-academic positions, taking 63 per cent of around 201,000 non-academic staff roles, it adds. Some 54 per cent of managerial, professional and technical staff, and 82 per cent of clerical staff, are women, Hesa also says.

The statistics also show the age of the UK’s academic workforce, indicating that about 3 per cent of staff (5,245 people) are older than the previous default retirement age of 65, which was scrapped in 2011.

Around 9 per cent of professors are over the age of 65, it adds.

Hesa also says there are 25 professors under the age of 30 working in the UK, of whom 10 are women.

Among those to previously gain the accolade at such a young age include Mervyn King, the former Bank of England governor, who became the University of Birmingham’s youngest professor in the late 1970s when he was given a chair at the age of 29.

Enoch Powell, the controversial former Tory MP and minister, was made a professor of classics at the University of Sydney at the age of 25, while philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche became a professor at the University of Basel aged 24 – before he had completed his PhD.

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 3 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

Most Commented

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations