An update on the Project

Many thanks to willing interviewers and even more keen interviewees; our total of responses to the questions about working in academia, are growing steadily. Many more people are getting engaged and offering help. Already some interesting themes are emerging showing differences between university cultures, attitudes and support for academic women in the past and now and differences between disciplines in attitudes towards and treatment of female staff. It is exciting that as a result of this research the name of BFWG is being promoted worldwide, as in July I shall using some of the material to present a workshop at the GWI conference in Geneva, attended by graduate women from around the world. In addition I will produce and deliver a paper on the findings so far at an international conference in Dubai in September and have already been told by one of the conference board that this is research of international interest.

So, my sincere appreciation of all who have contributed, but do keep going, as the more data we have the better. If you have not taken part as yet and want to do get in touch with me please. I am also am happy to report the formation of a Research Ethics Committee following university level standards for approving research. Prof. Kate Irving is the Chair and that committee will critically evaluate any research undertaken in the name of BFWG so go to it and start a research culture in BFWG! It is great way to attract young graduates.

Gillian Hilton VP

We need your help please with a BFWG Research Project to undertake research into the lives of women in academic employment and their experiences. Much discussion occurs and articles are written over the lack of equity in earnings between women and men, the burdens and expectations placed on women with families, whose ability to move jobs is limited by their partner’s position and by sexism in the workplace.

Independents – first we are requesting help from you then we will ask LA members to contribute

Our aim is to produce some ethnographic research – based on the experiences of women who have worked in universities in the past or are doing so now. The aim is to discover if the challenges faced by women, at various stages in an academic career, have changed over the years; hence we need information from women academics at various stages in academic, life from VCs at the top right through to those newly appointed. As much variety as possible is needed in the levels at which these women are employed in order to get a good picture of the situation.

A semi-structured interview has been designed, plus guidance for conducting the interview, plus a form on which to submit the findings from the interview/s. Your role across the country will be to find women at various stages of academic careers and interview them. You may know people already who could be asked – we are using a random sampling technique as we are attempting to involve as many members as possible in the research. However, it is expected that you will need to approach your local university and individual staff members from different departments and at different levels of status within the institution, in order to get a representative sample. We also need a wide selection regarding the types of university to be included, from the new to the very old established institutions.

We are happy for you to team up with another independent in order to do this task and in any case we are sure that there are other independents you can use as interviewees as there are many such people in BFWG.

There is an outline of the proposed research and its intended outcomes, report, news item and journal paper available to all who take up the challenge.

Please for further information and to take part in this research please contact Gillian Hilton VP

BFWG Founded 1907

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