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UCL women's group presentation final version

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Belinda Brown from the Gender Equity Network explores the possibility that gender equality policies designed to correct gender imbalances at the top of academia may be obscuring far more serious inequalities occurring further down

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UCL women's group presentation final version

  1. 1. IF IT’S UNEQUAL IS IT UNFAIR? The Gender Equity Network
  2. 2. Whose Lives Do Gender Equality Policies Improve?
  3. 3. References Stoet, G and Geary, D.C., 2015 “Sex differences in academic achievement are not related to political, economic, or social equality”; Intelligence 48, 137-151 Stoet, G., Bailey, D.H., Moore, A. M., Geary, D.C., 2016 “Countries with higher levels of gender equality show larger national sex differences in mathematics anxiety and relatively lower parental mathematics valuation for girls”; PLOS ONE. Data PISA - Programme for International Student Assessment (OECD) 70 Countries Maths, Reading, Science Literacy First paper a sample of 1.5 million 15 year olds Second paper 761,665 15 year olds GGI - Global Gender Gap Index – (World Economic Forum ) GEM – Gender Empowerment Measure (UN Development Programme)
  4. 4. What does he look at? • Is there a linear relationship between the size of the sex differences in maths performance and the extent to which men and women have equal social, economic and political opportunities? • Are sex differences in maths anxiety (a predictor of maths performance) related to a country’s level of gender equality? • Are sex differences in maths anxiety and maths performance related to the ratio of mothers to fathers in STEM? • Are parental attitudes towards sons’ or daughters’ maths interest related to a countries level of gender equality?
  5. 5. What did he find? • Higher levels of gender equality were associated with larger sex differences in mathematics anxiety and maths performance. • In most countries girls were better in reading than maths and boys were better in maths than reading. • The ratio of mothers in STEM was not correlated with any decrease either in differences between boys and girls in levels of maths anxiety or maths performance • In developed countries girls reported that maths was less important to their parents than boys did. • Girls significantly outperformed boys in overall achievement in 70% of the countries and boys significantly outperformed girls in 4% of the countries. • However at the highest levels of achievement in developed countries boys outperformed girls in maths and in their overall level of achievement.
  6. 6. Wang, M. T., Eccles, J.S., & Kenny, S. 2013, “Not lack of ability but more choice; individual and gender differences in choice of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics”; Psychological Science, 24(5), 770-775. • Research showed that mathematically capable individuals who also had high verbal skills were less likely to pursue STEM careers than individuals who had high maths skills but moderate verbal skills • The group with high math and high verbal ability included more females than males.
  7. 7. So what is really going on? • The stratification hypothesis suggests that as gender equality is achieved sex differences in maths and will disappear. There is no evidence for this. • The differences are global in scale suggesting that they are innate and that the gender similarities hypothesis could be wrong. • Mothers in more gender equal countries could be responding to their daughter’s attitude towards math rather than daughters responding to stereotypes held by mothers. • As boys are better at maths than girls at the highest levels this could explain the preponderance of boys in STEM. • As those who have better verbal skills (even if they have great maths skills) are more likely to choose non-stem this could explain why girls are in the minority in STEM. • There is a “High achievers male advantage gap” in developed countries at the highest level - here boys are over-represented. This could explain their greater presence in higher status jobs.
  8. 8. The evidence suggests that economic considerations may be playing a more prominent role in STEM related interest for individuals living in less developed countries and Intrinsic subject interest may play a more important role in education and occupation attitudes and choices for individuals living in more affluent countries.
  9. 9. Engineering equality: Athena SWAN Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) is a centre of the gender equality industry Promotes schemes such as: • Career networks for women • Career workshops for women • Career mentoring (now open to men)
  10. 10. GENIUS IS 1% INSPIRATION AND 99% PERSPIRATION
  11. 11. Comply or lose funding • “…when we next run the competition for NIHR [funding] we do not expect to short-list any NHS/University partnership where the academic partner (generally the Medical SchoolFaculty of Medicine) has not achieved at least the Silver Award of the Athena SWAN Charter… as a condition for short-listing for the next funding round.” Letter from Chief Medical Officer & Chief Scientific Advisor to the government, Professor Dame Sally C Davies, 29/07/2011 http://www.medschools.ac.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Le tter_from_Dame_Sally_Davies_-_Women_in_Science.pdf
  12. 12. Get your Athena Swan Silver award or NO FUNDING!!!
  13. 13. Patricial Murphy & Elizabeth Whitelegg, “Girls in the Physics Classroom: A Review of the Research on the Participation of Girls in Physics”, Institue of Physics June 2006 The Murphy and Whitelegg report describes the need for curriculum change and change in the teaching and assessment of physics in order to engage girls better. The curriculum should be “ context based” or “humanistic”. It should: Use a variety of social situations and contexts to organise and determine the scientific content of the course; Represent science as something that people do, influenced by historical, political , cultural and personal factors, not just as a body of knowledge; Use values inherent in science as topics for discussion and critique. THE A LEVEL PHYSICS CURRICULUM IS CURRENTLY BEING CHANGED TO ACCOMMODATE GIRLS INTERESTS
  14. 14. There is no social context in physics. It’s about electrons. It’s about the motion of planets, which is not noticeably influenced by the existence of homo sapiens. It’s about the primordial fireball in the first fraction of a second of the universe’s existence. It’s about pure mathematical constructs of awesome elegance which turn out, amazingly, ineffably, numinously, to align with the behaviour of inanimate matter. It is gloriously austere and deeply mysterious. It is supposed to be forbidding for it reveals the face of God , in as far as it can be apprehended by mortals…
  15. 15. Being able to recruit from widest possible pool of talent • The main definition for Equal opportunities people • “The royal society fosters excellence in science. But this can only be achieved if we select from the widest range of talent and that’s not possible if unconscious bias is narrowing down the field for non-scientific reasons” • “RCUK promotes and supports equality and diversity within research at all levels. The rewards of diversity are significant: recruiting staff from, the widest possible pool unlocks talent and thus contributes to the success of research and brings major benefits to the UK’s economy and society”
  16. 16. Women leaving academia
  17. 17. All pupils aged 5-14 years old in England & Wales = 64.5% All GCSE = 8.2% All A level = 6.9% All UGs = 15% PGs = 3.6% Other contract levels = 1.7%
  18. 18. Senior Academics & Professors = 0.3%
  19. 19. 18 year old women a third more likely to enter higher education than men By age 19, 44 per cent of women have entered, over 9 percentage points higher than men
  20. 20. Disadvantaged 18 year old women are around 50 per cent more likely to enter than men in 2014
  21. 21. Entry rates for women were higher than for men at all types of providers
  22. 22. 0 20000 40000 60000 80000 100000 120000 140000 A* A B Boys Girls Numbers of Boys and Girls getting top grades at A level Grades 32,285 35,865 65,330 83,079 93,816 127,116
  23. 23. Gender performance gap in GCSEs over the period 2001-2013
  24. 24. Boys Commission Report, National Literacy Trust 2012
  25. 25. Proportion of pupils achieving the expected level at Key Stage 3 (age 14) in three subjects, by gender Boys Commission Report, National Literacy Trust 2012
  26. 26. Proportion of pupils achieving the expected level at Key Stage 2 (age 11) in five subjects, by gender Boys Commission Report, National Literacy Trust 2012
  27. 27. Proportion of pupils achieving the expected level at Key Stage 1 (age seven) in five subjects, by gender Boys Commission Report, National Literacy Trust 2012
  28. 28. https://www.ucas.com/sites/default/files/eoc_ data_resource_2015-dr3_019_01.pdf
  29. 29. F:M Nursing 1:0.11 IT and software 0.16:1 Teaching and education 1:0.17 Psychology 1:0.22 Languages and Cultural studies 1:0.35 Engineering Technology and materials 0.38:1 Sport and Exercise 0.39:1 Animal Veterinary & Agricultural Sciences 1:0.45 Medicine dentistry 1: 0.50 Law 1:0.50 Mathematics 0.56:1 Architecture and Building 0.60:1 History philosophy arts 1:0.64 Biological Sciences 1:0.65 Physical Sciences 0.71:1 Economics Finance and Accounting 1:0.80
  30. 30. “it could be argued that the widening gender gap” [in educational achievement] “does not matter if this advantage either disappears by the time the girl enters the labour market or if it helps to ensure greater equality for women in the labour market”
  31. 31. Age range men women ratio (m/w) <25 7,452 4,235 1.76 25 – 44 6,279 3,726 1.69 45 – 54 13,625 9,449 1.44 55 – 64 28,214 19,534 1.44 65 – 74 54,073 38,960 1.39 75 – 84 86,332 81,794 1.06 85+ 77,372 137,979 0.56 All UK Deaths 2012

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