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Bh Student Experience Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Bh Business and Management Hs Department of Social Sciences Hr Centre for Diversity Policy Research Dc Oxford Brookes International
In the past 2 decades, many Certification and Award schemes (CAS) related to gender equality, diversity and inclusion have emerged in the higher education, research and industry sectors. According to a recent report, there are as many as 113 CAS which have been identified across Europe and beyond. These CAS aim at addressing inequalities in relation to the grounds of sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability among others. The high number of CAS, and their continued growth, has taken place in parallel to the shift of policies and efforts from “fixing individuals” to “fixing the system.” In these schemes, gender equality is often understood as a structural, systemic challenge, with a recognition that advancing gender equality is complex and requires drivers and interventions at micro, meso and macro level. Studies focused on analysing and evaluating gender equality initiatives in higher education have been scarce, and often limited to specific schemes. This paper aims to fill this gap by providing a better understanding of the CAS landscape through comparing two of the main gender equality schemes used by research-performing organisations in Europe Athena SWAN (in the UK) and Total E-Quality Award (in Germany). Based on qualitative interviews with stakeholders across Europe and document analysis, this paper focuses on strengths, challenges faced by and the impact of these CAS. This comparative exercise highlights particular learning points that can inform potential reviews of existing schemes and/or the development of new schemes such as a Europe-wide scheme. The latter is the focus of a Horizon 2020 project entitled CASPER (Certification-Award Systems to Promote Gender Equality in Research), which aims at making recommendations to the European Commission as to the feasibility of a Europe-wide CAS for gender equality in research organisations.
Purpose.The purpose of this paper is to discuss the findings and outcomes from research undertaken in 2016 on diversity in British horseracing. The last decade has seen increasing focus on improving gender balance in senior roles in most sectors. Motivation for change within horseracing came from women at a senior level, who identified that the industry was behind in this respect. This work offers a case study to consider, with a business case context, whether an initiative, driven from the top, can open up a conversation about inequality and precipitate change that benefits women across a whole sector.
Design/methodology/approach.This research took an action research approach, using a survey alongside key stakeholder interviews.
Findings.The findings showed a diverse industry with complex career paths. Growing numbers of women have entered the sector, though this was often not reflected in women’s seniority or in perceptions about their capabilities. Issues identified included the importance of mentoring, networking and career advice for women’s progression, which are needed to navigate myriad career paths and male-dominated structures. The paper argues that investigating equality issues from a perspective of those in leadership roles can lead to pragmatic initiatives supporting women at all levels.
Originality.The originality of this paper is that it focuses on work which, for the first time, explored women’s career participation in the horseracing industry. It challenges existing critiques of using a business case to promote gender equality.
This article examines whether progress in women’s access to decision-making positions is best achieved through increased levels of development or targeted actions. Drawing on European data for the period 2006–2018, the article examines the association between how gender equal a country is and legislated measures such as board quotas with women’s representation on boards. The analysis then explores how this can be nuanced by differentiating between hard sanctions, soft sanctions and codes of governance. It shows that board quotas cannot be relied upon as instruments of progress independently of a contextual environment that is more gender equal. Furthermore, board quotas with hard sanctions work best, followed by codes of governance, particularly when associated with higher gender equality. However, board quotas with soft sanctions are associated with results that are only marginally better than not having any measure in place. The article concludes that for further and faster progress to be made, introducing legislated board quotas shows great potential, though only in combination with striving for a gender equal society and using hard sanctions. The results call for organizations not to lose focus on ‘rights’ at the expense of the more palatable ‘business case’ for board quotas when striving for equality on corporate boards.
Women are under-represented in leadership roles in United Kingdom Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Existing scholarship focuses on institutional barriers, which include cognitive bias and entrenched homosocial cultures, rather than external factors such as the use of executive search firms (ESFs) in recruitment and selection. Recent research indicates that the use of ESFs is increasing for senior HEI appointments. This analysis offers insights on these firms’ involvement from a gender equality perspective, based on the results from a study that used a ‘virtuous circle’ approach to research and knowledge exchange. The requirement for HEIs to pay ‘due regard’ to equality considerations under the Public Sector Equality Duty provides a framework for analysis. This paper provides new insights on the dynamics within recruitment processes when ESFs are involved and on how a legislative approach can leverage better equality outcomes.
Women’s participation in sporting activity has increased significantly over recent years, though they continue to be underrepresented in management and leadership roles. UK sport faces a similar gender imbalance, and this chapter offers an exploration of this through a research study investigating enablers and barriers to women’s career progression in the horseracing industry. Women across all sectors face a series of career barriers which were also identified within horseracing. These include family responsibilities, perceptions that women are less motivated or capable, limitations due to role segregation or gender stereotyping, and negative perceptions of female leaders. Important career enablers include the development of social and human capital, for example through training, mentoring, and sponsorship. As a response, and reflecting existing, successful business-led voluntary frameworks, a series of industry-led initiatives was developed for horseracing. These included methods to support women’s progression, along with addressing underlying attitudinal barriers to achieve long-term change.
This report explores and critiques the gendered construction of value within the nursing profession and evaluates how value is attributed to nursing, the value placed on individuals and the status of the profession.This work was commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing and undertaken as a collaboration between Oxford Brookes University and the RCN.