Women increase influence in business

January 14, 2005

British boardrooms may be notoriously male dominated but university business schools are proving more enlightened, with women far more conspicuous at all levels.

The Association of Business Schools reports that one in three staff teaching business and management studies is female and this proportion is increasing at a rate of about 25 per cent a year.

There are now eight female heads or deans among the association's 102 members. This compares with only one female chief executive of a FTSE top 100 company.

Robert Gordon University is noteworthy in that of its 186 business school staff, there are just two more men than women. Rita Marcella, the school's new dean, described the statistics as "very encouraging".

London Business School, which ranks among the top ten business schools worldwide and has a female dean, Laura Tyson, has just over one in ten female staff.

Jonathan Slack, chief executive of the ABS, said: "Business and management is far from being a male bastion in higher education. There is certainly room for improvement, but the future looks more than encouraging."

Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University has just appointed five female lecturers out of 12 staff recruited since September. It is advertising for four professors and academic leaders in this week's Times Higher .

Dean Paul Croney said: "This reflects a major investment to meet the school's growing demand. But as we begin to deliver our academic strategy, we will seek to make more appointments."

The school is keen to appoint staff with a strong industrial, as well as academic, background.

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