On the position of women in the university teaching profession in England : an interview study of 100 women university teachers.
The aim of this study has been to investigate the position of
women teaching in English universities, in terms of both their
objective status and their subjective views of their place in
Recent studies made in other countries, such as Germany, have
shown that 'the female don' has not as yet gained equal
recognition as a member of the academic world. Information on
the situation in Great Britain has not heretofore been available.
Especially since university teaching in this country is on the
threshold of a great expansion, with concomitant structural
changes, it has seemed worthwhile to explore the occupational
image and reality of the academic women in England.
The present empirical study, carried out in 1964, included
interviews with 100 women engaged in full-time teaching at
eight selected universities. The sample was designed to include
approximately equal numbers of married and single women because
special attention was to be given to the problem connected with
the 'dual role' as mother and professional woman.
In order to test and supplement the present sample, and also
to provide comparisoxs between women and men in the profession,
the data derived from the sample have been compared with
available national figures based on the University Teachers'
Survey of the Committee on Higher Education.
The present study describes English academic women in terms of
various social and family characteristics, educational and
professional attainments, career and recruitment patterns, and
perceived motivations for becoming a university teacher. In
addition, opinions are analyzed as expressed by the respondents
on such topics as preferred or disliked aspects of their work -
e.g. teaching as against research and administration -, the
respective amounts of time devoted to such activities,
promotion prospects, notions of discrimination, and other views
of their position in the academic world.
With regard to the present shortage of academic staff, there
is need for a recruitment policy taking into account the
special situation and needs of married women who comprise a
potential source of prospective teachers.