The Glass Escalator in Research Administration : Do Flexible-Working Policies Adversely Discriminate Against Women?

Dr Sarah Tetley - Eastern ARC Officer, University of Kent

The Research Administration Profession (RMA) is heavily dependent upon its female workforce.  Internationally, 77% of all RMA staff are women, with surprisingly little regional variation. This gender imbalance becomes less pronounced in Leadership positions, however, with 28% of roles occupied by men, despite their only constituting 22% of the overall workforce.  These gender patterns are not unique to RMA.  In nursing, teaching and other traditionally “female” professions, men consistently reach leadership positions both more quickly and in greater numbers than their female counterparts.  One reason for this is that women are more likely to be in part-time positions, usually due to caring responsibilities.  This limits their opportunities for personal and professional development which can negatively impact upon career advancement.  Within RMA, 86% of all part-time roles are filled by women.

Using case studies from the UK, Europe and South Africa, this workshop will explore the reasons women give for taking on part-time positions within RMA; their experiences of part-time working; and their perceptions of whether flexible-working policies might hinder their professional development.  Interactive voting will be used to explore audience members’ reactions to the findings and to rank ideas for reducing this gender imbalance in the future.

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Room Fintry
Time 11:30 - 12:45
Date Wednesday 6th June, 2018
Theme Leadership & Professional Development
Style Workshop
Speakers Dr Sarah Tetley - Eastern ARC Officer, University of Kent