Women under-represented at universities

A Redbrick investigation has revealed the disparity in numbers between male and female sabbatical officers across 24 leading universities

A Redbrick investigation has revealed the disparity in numbers between male and female sabbatical officers across 24 leading universities.

One female officer

Following this year’s Guild Officer elections, it was confirmed that for the third year in succession the University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students will only have one female sabbatical officer on the team of seven.

Across all universities the trend is not as severe but 61.11% of current sabbatical officers are male as opposed to just 38.89% who are females. This includes a 100% male sabbatical officer team at the University of York. This does not represent the majority of student bodies as there are more female students than males at 20 of the 24 universities investigated.

At the University of Birmingham, 55.1% of students are female, making even more surprising the fact that there is only one female on the sabbatical team once again. King’s College London has the highest proportion of female students (62.44%) and this is reflected in the sabbatical team, where three of the four incumbents are female. Similarly, the university with the highest proportion of males (63.74%), the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, has four males and only one female sabb.

Greater engagement

Only six of the 24 universities have more female sabbs than males - these being the University of Cambridge, King’s College London, the University of Leeds, the University of Manchester, the University of Newcastle-upon-tyne and the University of Nottingham. This year only seven of the 25 candidates who ran for sabbatical positions were female.
Current Vice President for Activities and Development Fliss Cross, the only female on this year’s team, said, 'Many female friends have expressed Guild politics as a reason for not running in elections. The hostile nature of Guild Council needs to be looked at to engage more women, which often leads onto students running in the Officer elections ’.

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James Phillips



Published

8th June 2012



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