12 June 2018

The problem of harassment and pay gaps in HE

In a new article, Professor Ellen Hazelkorn discusses sexual harassment within universities, an issue that tends to get less attention in Europe than in the US.

Professor Hazelkorn highlights the effect of power relations in higher education and the problem of behaviour in academia that can be normalised and difficult to monitor.

She also emphasises that the slow pace of change in narrowing the gender pay gap is a significant barrier to increasing the number of women in senior academic positions. In the UK, the median pay gap between men and women is 9.8 percent nationally, but 18.4 percent among universities.

Professor Hazelkorn discusses recommendations published in the Higher Education Authority’s National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions (2016), including training to address unconscious bias. Yet she concludes that progress is slow and it could take decades to reach the recommended gender balance of 40 per cent.

Gender and higher education: increasing exposure of harassment and pay gaps is published in International Higher Education.