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Report published about Women Professors as Intellectual Leaders

25 May 2018

Head of School, Professor Bruce Macfarlane, has a report published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. The report is based on a project about women professors and the barriers to their progression within the professoriate.

The study sought to analyse how women see their role as full professors at UK universities through autobiographical accounts of their intellectual and career histories. While work has emerged in recent years on professors as leaders, there has been comparatively little research on how women professors define and practice their role as intellectual leaders. Women constitute just under 22% of full professors in the UK, and it is important to consider why this underrepresentation persists, alongside considering how those who have attained a professorial title define and practice their roles.

Women professors identified a series of personal qualities – resilience, confidence, negotiation and assertiveness – that are needed for becoming and being a professor. They conceive the role of professor as reflecting a balance between a series of freedoms and responsibilities. Important freedoms include credibility, intellectual independence and the scope to define a personal research agenda while key balancing responsibilities included attracting funding, disseminating intellectual ideas widely in the public sphere and engaging in academic citizenship.

Read the full report, 'Women Professors as Intellectual Leaders'

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