Women in the profession: an update on the gendered composition of the discipline and political science departments in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Zoe Pflaeger Young
  • Frances Amery
  • Cherry Miller
  • Taylor Billings
  • Rebecca Hayton
  • Marianne Holt
  • Jasmine Khatri
  • Molly Marvin
  • Lola Ogunsanya
  • Alice Ramdehal
  • Rosie Sullivan

Colleges, School and Institutes


We present data on the proportions and seniority of female and male political scientists working in the UK. Comparing the results with previous research from 2011, we find that progress has been made. However, progress has been incremental and we find no qualitative changes in the status of female political scientists: they continue to be outnumbered by their male counterparts; they are overrepresented in the least senior job groups and underrepresented in the most senior; and the average female political scientist occupies a less senior position than the average male counterpart. We also run regression analyses to explore the impact of broader contextual factors on the proportion of female political scientists within a unit and that unit’s ‘gender seniority gap’. We find evidence that gender equality kitemarks, university mission group membership, the gender of the Head of Unit and Vice-Chancellor and the proportion of female members of university governance bodies appear to matter for one or both of these measures but not always in the direction that might be expected. These results, then, raise questions about what strategies might be pursued by those who wish to improve the status of women in the profession.


Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies Review
Early online date5 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2020


  • UK political science, gender and the profession, the status of women in the profession