Monday, May 14, 2007

The slow climb meets the leaky pipe: women in academia.

The good news: the numbers of academic staff in UK universities increased 2.6% in 2005-2006 - higher than the increase in student numbers (1.4% over the same period).

The bad news: this is the first glimmer of hope after 20 years of declining staff/student ratios.

The good news: the increase in women academics overall increased by 4% in the same period.

The bad news: this increse is still overwhelmingly concentrated on the lower end of the scale. At professorial level, fewer than 1 in 6 academics are female.


Is this the leaky pipe, cultural factors? It's not an innate inferiority of female undergrads, that's for sure.


Martin Sewell said...

There are a greater number of men than women in academia—especially in senior positions—for the following reasons:

Children. Women have children and care for them, this may remove them from academia in the short-term, the long-term, part-time or permanently.

Motivation. Most importantly, in order to attract a high value mate, men have to compete with other men for status and this translates directly into men contesting each other for positions within organisations. There is no parallel for women. Only 10–15% of women are motivated to climb organisations to the same degree.

Intelligence. The distribution of men’s intelligence has both a slightly higher mean and a larger variance than women, this makes a huge difference in the region that academics occupy, in the extreme upper tail. There are 30 times the number of men with an IQ of 170-plus as there are women.

DavidC said...

I sometimes wonder if Martin has been replaced by an Eliza-style chat-bot. Any mention of women / academics / IQ / race etc., generates a seemingly automatic (and entirely predictable) response. So Martin, why shouldn't I compare thee to a winter's day? After all, Christmas is a winter day.

Martin Sewell said...

I don't think you're serious. By a winter's day one means a typical winter's day, rather than a special one like Christmas.

Auntie Em said...

This again? Seriously?

Children sute - until the breastfeeding stops.

Motivation - why thank you, you're now allowing 10-15% of us to be motivated. You get that figure from where? And are you the only 1 in 3billion men that isn't motivated "to the same degree".

Intelligence - don't even know where to start on this one. I'll leave it to .

Stop posting your dogma here Martin - you've done so plenty of times and your point has been expounded on at length. I'll delete the next variant of this rant that appears on my blog - why not post it on your own. It'll make a change from stories about ablated penises.

Consider yourself on notice.

Martin Sewell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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