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What are the barriers and facilitators to success for female academics in UK HEIs? A narrative review

Westoby, Christopher; Dyson, Judith; Cowdell, Fiona; Buescher, Tim

Authors

Judith Dyson

Fiona Cowdell

Tim Buescher



Abstract

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.

Citation

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

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 23, 2020
Online Publication Date Feb 11, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 12, 2022
Journal Gender and Education
Print ISSN 0954-0253
Electronic ISSN 1360-0516
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-24
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2021.1884198
Keywords Barriers; Facilitators; Advancement; HEI; Higher education; Sexism; Discrimination; Progression; Female
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/3725897
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?show=aimsScope&journalCode=cgee20; Received: 2020-05-22; Accepted: 2020-12-23; Published: 2021-02-11