RHS Report on Gender Equality and Historians in Higher Education

3 February 2015

Press Release for International Women’s Day

The Times Higher Education highlights the findings of the RHS report “Conditions for female academics in some university history departments “smack still of the 1970s”  Read the article.

Read the report: Gender Equality and Historians in UK Higher Education

Gender survey - graduation crop2Nicola Miller writes:

This report analyses the results, both quantitative and qualitative, of the survey many of you completed last year.  Many thanks to everyone who replied and/or attended one of the workshops we held to discuss the findings. We were delighted to receive over 700 replies, 42% from men, with a good distribution across age, career stage and area of the UK.

These results show widespread concerns  throughout the historical profession about the persistence of a range of barriers to gender equality, despite the fact that policies against discrimination have been in place for two or three decades in some (although by no means all) universities. The bias may be less visible nowadays, but it is  no less real for that.  It is salutary to note that  only 20.8% of History Professors are women, which means that we are scarcely doing any better than the City, where 19.5% of senior role are held by women.

Examples of good practice that were highlighted during discussion of the survey results showed that relatively small changes can often go a long way towards improving matters.  In that optimistic spirit, the report  offers a list of recommendations for action, targeted at Departments/Faculties, Journal Editors, Conference Organisers, Teachers/Supervisors and indeed everyone who would like to help promote greater equality  for all historians.

We hope that you will find this report a helpful stimulus for discussion and review of practices in all areas of our work.  Please distribute it and debate it as much as possible.  Raising awareness can do a lot to help in itself.

The RHS will be taking forward its work on equalities under our new Vice-President for Research Policy, Prof. Mary Vincent. Meanwhile, we would like to make our website a forum for exchange of experiences and good practice, so please send any comments and ideas about the report to Jane Gerson, Research & Communications Officer at j.gerson@royalhistsoc.org.

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