This project is supported by Fusion Investment Fund.
It is well recognised that female faculty experience a slower career progress and are more likely to leave the path leading to academic advancement than their male colleagues. The issue of under representation of women in senior levels in science and across academia has been noted most recently in the pages of Nature (2011 & 2013) and the THES (2013) Whilst statistics from BU’s HR department show a gender split of 50/50 between male and female academics, women are seriously underrepresented at the professoriate and senior management level. A recent study conducted by BU’s Equality and Diversity department identified the lack of role model as one of the barriers that hinder female academics’ progress. We aim to work alongside the university to tackle this problem by offering more mentoring support and high-profile role models to female academics. Previous research repeatedly showed that female academics with mentors publish more articles, feel more confident in their capabilities, and are more satisfied overall with their careers than those without mentors (Levinson, Kaufman, Clark & Tolle, 1991).
Specifically, the Women’s Academic Network (WAN) plan to organise a series of seminars throughout the 13/14 academic year, and invite leading female speakers to present their latest studies and/or reflect on their personal career development. As BU’s female academics have a diverse personal background (in terms of discipline, age, culture, race and career path), we aim to invite a wide range of speakers including academics and practitioners and those in the UK and from international institutions. In doing so, we aim to stregthen BU’s connection with leading scholars/ business leaders from the international community, disseminate latest research findings across disciplines and increase mentoring support and networking opportunities for female academics.
Our first seminar is on 22nd November, 12:00 to 13:30, room P302. Laura Bates from Everyday Sexism will talk about the difficulties women often face at work. Coffee and tea will be provided. All are welcome.