As part of our ongoing commitment to gender equality, Loughborough University recently conducted its first analysis of gender composition on academic interview panels. This exercise identified important data collection issues to be resolved in ongoing monitoring and prompted a major revision in the Code of Practice on the Composition of Appointment Committees.
Issue to be resolved
At the time of the evaluation, a formal system to record the gender of those on interview panels was not in place. From a sample of 22 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) academic appointments in 2013, 30% of panel members were female, which is reasonable based on the subject mix of the university but 8/22 panels were all male.
Consequently, two key issues were identified:
The need for more effective gender monitoring of Appointment Committees
The need for female representation on Appointment Committees
A system has been set up to formally record the gender composition of academic interview panels.
Gender composition on academic interview panels will be monitored on an annual basis.
The University’s ‘Appointment Committees Code of Practice’, which previously stated that the composition of Appointment Committees should include representation from both genders, has been strengthened to state that both genders must be represented.
Enhanced reports on gender equality are now delivered to the Human Resources Committee and regular monitoring of appointment panel composition will ensure that the amended Appointment Committees Code of Practice is being followed.
The gender composition on academic interview panels will continue to be monitored on an annual basis to ensure that those involved in the recruitment of new staff adhere to the amended Code of Practice on the Composition of Appointment Committees. Furthermore, any new issues that emerge will be documented and addressed as part of the University’s Athena SWAN action plan.
Loughborough University’s Athena SWAN Bronze renewal application and associated action plan is available to download.