Women and Men in Globalizing Universities
The IARU Committee on Women and Men in the Academy meets once a year. Data are collected to benchmark the academic ladder, changes over time, the international mobility of academics as well as academic success rates.
Committee members also share and discuss initiatives on gender equality implemented by IARU member institutions and consider explanatory frameworks.
Outcomes of the comparative data analysis
- The percent of women decreases the higher the status on the academic ladder.
- The greater the number of faculty in PTEM (physical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, the smaller the total percent of women on the faculty.
- Improvement in the percent women at each step on the academic ladder is steady, but slow.
- Globalization is evident in the large number of international postdocs and assistant professors.
Plan of action
- IARU member institutions plan to leverage their participation in the group by working at their home institution to gather and analyze data, and to implement evidence-based initiatives aimed at improving the rate of reaching gender equality. Each President is asked to provide sufficient resources to support such activity.
- The IARU group as a whole seeks to provide global leadership by analyzing comparative data and making recommendations based on an understanding of the data. The group works on the regular collection, reporting, and comparison of data. It will also collect narratives of the academic career life course of men and women in order to probe similarities and differences among the various IARU institutional structures.
The Committee discussed how to increase the rate of progress towards gender equality. It offers the observations below as a framework for further research and possible action.
- The present disciplinary and sub-disciplinary divisions tend to favor male academics. How might the participation of women change if more positions were allocated in multi- and interdisciplinary areas, moving beyond the renewal of existing disciplines?
- Recruitment and advancement processes have resulted in a large percentage of male academics. How might modification of these processes change outcomes?
- Women academics have a different set of time commitments and constraints compared with men. How might distribution of resources provide for greater gender equality?
- International mobility of scholars is increasing rapidly. How does globalization effect gender equality at universities?
- In some of the IARU institutions we observe female students seem to underperform with respect to their educational attainment. Where and why is this the case and by which measures could the underachievement be overcome?
- Which are the criteria by which one should measure whether an institutions gender oriented policy is successful or not? And even broader: What should be understood by “success” of universities?
- Which measures seem to be most successful to promote a. the number of girls in science and b. the number of women on full professorships?