Gender, ethnicity and career progression in UK higher education: a case study analysis

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This article uses case study interviews to examine women’s experiences in higher education. It focuses on career progression, support available for promotion and particular initiatives for staff retention. The findings suggest that whilst some progress has been made to support White and Black and minority ethnic women in their career trajectories, greater change is needed in order that inclusion is embedded within institutional frameworks and strategic plans. Furthermore, clearer evidence is needed by universities to demonstrate how they are meeting their legal equality requirements as specified by the Equality Act (2010). The mere presence of diversity and equality policies does not necessarily demonstrate that gender and ethnic inequalities are being addressed. Such policies may simply result in a ‘tick box’ exercise. In order to address such inequalities, issues of diversity and equality must be embedded within the cultural organisation of institutions which are identified in key objectives resulting in real outcomes and practice. Additionally, there is a need to consider intersectional identities and the impact of ethnicity on women’s experiences in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Papers in Education
Early online date13 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2019


  • careers
  • equity and diversity
  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • higher education


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