Number of female professors rises

first_imgThe University of Oxford has not been following the trend of increasing numbers of female professors employed in British universities, which rose by 4% last year.The proportion of women holding the title of professor at Oxford stands at only 9.4% (correct as of 2010). Across the UK women still only make up 20% of those in senior positions.A particular disparity is apparent in the number of women employed as professors of science. Only 3.6% of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences professorships were held by women, and only 7.3% of those for Medical Science. The proportion of female professors in the departments of Social Sciences and Humanities, though higher, at approximately 13%, is still well below the national average.Women are better represented in other academic positions at Oxford, comprising, for example, over a quarter of the lecturers in the university.Dr Mark Griffith, Senior Tutor at New College, rejected the notion of sexist bias at Oxford, highlighting the increasing commitment of the university to gender equality in the last forty years. He told Cherwell, “In my time Oxford has changed a very great deal. When I was an undergraduate at Wadham in the late 1970s only five Colleges were mixed and the preponderance of them entirely male.”He added,  “It’s taking time for women to percolate upwards to become professors, who tend to be appointed later in their careers. I think now that a majority of the academics in some arts faculties are women. I don’t detect any bias here – and it would be oddly selective if there were”.When questioned, students were equally sceptical about Oxford’s dearth of female academics. Classics student Josephine Rabinowitz commented, “As has recently been made common knowledge by that great purveyor of modern feminism, ‘Who run the world? Girls’. Beyoncé was on to something. I for one have seen no evidence to the contrary at Oxford.’Dom Foord, a first-year at New College, said he was similarly unaware of any discrimination, estimating the number of female academics in his department to be about a third. He commented, “As a mathematician, it’s difficult to tell if there are more women or men. I spend far too much time looking at my shoes to notice”.last_img

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