Professors Without Borders Think Tank

Read the conference report here.

Women’s retention in higher education institutions (HEIs) has improved drastically in the last century; however, many issues still plague women faculty and students in HEIs. Women’s retention is a multi-pronged issue, involving a different approach for female students and faculty. Both students and faculty face multiple issues to succeeding in academia.

Female students face wide ranging limitations which inhibit their academic career. These include securing funding, exclusion from extracurricular events, a smaller percentage of representation in academia, cultural expectations, and safety on campus. Meanwhile, female faculty retention involves many clashing issues that lead females to be significantly disadvantaged in an academic career. While women in the UK make up 55% of the university faculty, they only hold 29% of Vice-Chancellors positions in the UK. Women faculty in HEIs also experience a significant wage gap, career progression challenges, and lesser networking opportunities. Further, societal and cultural norms and responsibilities may limit a women’s career progression as they may take on more familial responsibilities.

 This conference is part of the Women in Higher Education Initiative led by Tessy de Nassau and provides the ThinkTank with a chance to contribute to the wider discourse on reforming HEIs and directly influence university policy.  The conference is an online event split into two panels and will take place on March 27th, 2021. The first panel, ‘Improving Female Student Retention,’ moderated by Rachel Warnick, reflect on student experiences in academia and utilise those experiences to create universities’ guidelines to develop a safe and equal environment for their female students. The second panel, ‘Improving Female Faculty Retention,’ will be moderated by Jacqueline Akello and will strive to discuss policies that universities can implement to improve women faculty retention, based on the panellists’ personal experiences.

At the end of the conference, the aim is to circulate and publish guidelines to improve women’s higher education retention. These guidelines will be distributed to our partner universities and published by Professors Without Borders. We aim to spread awareness on how to improve women’s retention, to create a safe, prosperous, and equal environment for all women during their higher education journey.

Click the link to learn further information and register:

Meet Our Panelists

Conference Programme