Gender inequality prevails in academia; there is currently no review on the barriers and facilitators to success for female academics in UK Higher Education. We conducted a systematic search identifying 32 papers addressing this issue. Narrative review revealed six themes: networks (prohibiting the inclusion of women), home-work balance (where women are expected to make a binary decision between the two), everyday sexism (leading to compromised psychological wellbeing and reduced likelihood of application for career advancement), inclusion/hierarchy/power structure (the assignment of less valued roles), intersectionality, and facilitators (supportive partner and Athena SWAN). The manifest, overarching narrative was of continued biases, barriers, double-standards, and unsupportive work environments. Law and resulting institutional policy should, but does not appear to, address identified barriers; consideration should be given to processes employed to implement and culturally embed these. Findings suggest we must challenge institutional norms, attitudes and expectations through facilitating accessible networks, consciousness raising and mentorship.
Westoby, C., Dyson, J., Cowdell, F., & Buescher, T. (in press). What are the barriers and facilitators to success for female academics in UK HEIs? A narrative review. Gender and Education, 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2021.1884198