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Gender Equality at Birkbeck

Birkbeck Gender Equality Map

Birkbeck’s commitment to gender equality is showed by the Athena SWAN Bronze award hold by the School of Science. This means that the School has a solid base for tackling gender issues and an inclusive culture contributing to eradicate the gender bias. More information on the award obtained by the School of Science is available at the School’s website.

Athena SWAN at Birkbeck has also pushed to create, in 2013-14, a first pilot for a College wide one-to-one mentoring programme dedicated to women academics, especially to early career researchers, who represent the main target group.

Birkbeck’s last Equality Report (Birkbeck Human Resources, 2013) shows that, from 2009, the overall ratio females/males is quite stable, with 52% women and 48% men considering all the staff. Regarding the academic, research and teaching staff, women represent the 48%; considering the professional staff, they represent the 55%. Data become more interesting from a gender perspective if we look at occupational groups and disciplines. Men are highly represented in the senior management (70%) and among the professors (58%), while women are mostly present in the assistant and junior professional and administrative staff (66%). If we look at disciplines, women are especially underrepresented in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics and in the School of Law (respectively 33% and 39% considering academic, research and teaching staff).

If we just consider the quota of professors, differences become even more striking, with 31% of women professors in the School of Law, 30% in the School of Science, 21% in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics. The School of Arts and the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy (SSHP) represent an exception with both 50% of women at the professorial level. Because of their high representation in the most senior positions, men represent also the strongest percentage among those gaining the highest salaries: regarding the academic, research and teaching staff, 48% of men gain over £50,000 per year, against 36% of the women; regarding the admin and professional staff, 10% of men gain over £50,000, against 5% of women.

  • Astrea: Networking for women in professional and support roles
    • Birkbeck Astrea, as a grassroots organisation, to provide Birkbeck women in professional and support roles occasions to meet each other and network, to enable us all to take full advantages of the opportunities available to us and help us all make the best of what we are and have.
  • Aurora: Aurora Women into leadership roles
    • Aurora is an initiative by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education aimed at enabling more women to develop the leadership side of their careers and so address the under-representation of women at senior levels in the sector.
  • Athena SWAN:
    • The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research
  • BiGS: Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality
    • BiGS provides a forum for innovative interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange in gender and sexuality studies
  • Equalities Committee:
    • Equalities Committee promotes equality and diversity among staff and students across the College, monitors developments in legislation and College policy on equal opportunities and diversity and proposes new policy as appropriate
  • GEPP: Gender Equality Policy and Practice (GEPP) Working Group
    • The aim of this working group is to provide a platform to develop a major new international research initiative: the Gender Equality Policy in Practice Project (GEPP).
  • TRIGGER: Transforming institutions by gendering contents and gaining equality in research
    • TRIGGER aims at promoting systemic interventions designed to have deep, longlasting and widespread impacts on all different levels in 5 research organisations