Real force needed to smash ceiling

August 2, 1996

There are lies, damned lies, statistics and bad timing. It is true that on July 31, 1995, when the survey was taken, Umist had no women professors in post. Several were in the glass pipeline, however, and we now have four: in chemical engineering, management, optometry and textiles.

This brings us up to the, very low, average for technological universities. The real problem is that the pool of women reading engineering is so small that the knock-on effect of moving them into graduate work and thence into university teaching careers means that there are virtually no female candidates for many vacant chairs. The solution, which we are working hard at, is recruiting more young women into undergraduate courses.

It is also ironic that Umist has undertaken much of the academic research into gender barriers in management. We do not have a glass ceiling here, simply too few eligible women!

TIM YATES Director of information, UMIST

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