Expert-led, interdisciplinary, and international in scope, this insightful book aims to increase the representation and leadership potential of women working in academia, examining the intersection of multiple inequalities with a specific focus on gender, age, ethnicity, and disability. A carefully crafted response to educational inequalities, the volume posits an invitation for dialogue around what it means to have success in higher education.
This book expands the reader’s understanding of leadership in academia and the challenges specific to individual career pathways, offering a plethora of practical tried-and-tested strategies that individuals and institutions can adopt to create a more equal and socially just academic climate. Designed to encourage reflection on potential strategies and how they could be implemented, the ten co-authored chapters include first-person narratives, case studies inspired by interviews with academics, and links and recommendations for further reading. The personal accounts of the authors are enriched with those of other academics who have faced challenges in career progression. Each chapter is structured as a conversation between the authors in relation to an inequality issue, with a summary of scholarly literature and studies on the topic, followed by strategies successfully applied in practice. Strategies presented are firmly rooted in the everyday reality of working as a researcher, higher education lecturer, or academic administrator.
This book is ideal reading for any minority working in higher education interested in promotion processes, equality and diversity in the workplace, and mentoring. It will also be of interest to providers of academic leadership courses, organisations, and institutions promoting gender equality in higher education, supporting women’s careers, and improving the representation, progression, and success of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and students within higher education.
List of figures
Chapter 1: You, our reader, and us
Why did we write this book?
Articulation of key words
What is academic success?
A generous definition of academic success
Who inspired this book?
Who is this book for?
Individual academic roles
What makes academia special?
Our individual role in structural inequalities
Culture change is on the horizon
Becoming good university citizens
The Social Justice Agenda in good university citizenship
Chapter 2: Unequal identities
Intersections in academic identities
Discriminatory practices evident in hierarchies
Experiences of discrimination in academia
Tackling discriminations: Equality and equity in academia
The individual agency of female academics
When efforts for addressing discrimination go wrong
Positive efforts for addressing discrimination
Be aware of and beware the implicit bias
Chapter 3: Time-bound identities
The question of time
Multiple identities and multiple time demands
The times are changing
The academic time and our time priorities
Learning to say ‘no’
Should academic women have children?
The myth of the unproductive academic mum
Productive and happy academic moms
The trouble of academic diaries
The time management changes we can all make
Slow it down
Chapter 4: The visible and invisible academic identities
The academic road is not linear
The academic family
The family of your own choosing
The PhD experience
The reflective academic identity
The power of crystallising experiences
Carving out your academic niche
A funnel approach to niche carving
Pave your own path
Staying in academia
Chapter 5: The resilient and collaborative identities
Courage and resilience
Grace and resilience
Growing your professional networks
The boundaries between private and professional networks
Example of a creative side-hustle
The benefits of combining science and art
The drawbacks of combining science and art
Chapter 6: The publicly engaged identity
The multi-faceted nature of public engagement
Means of public engagement for scientific and professional staff
The importance of public engagement
The case of academic media stars
Effective public engagement
New ways of public engagement
Challenges of social media for research communication
New to public engagement and research communication?
Setting up your own website
Creative communication methods
Creating public courses
Collaborative public engagement
Chapter 7: Writing identities
Go for quality, not for quantity
Perfect or good enough articles
Honing your writing skills
Effective writing routines
Protecting your writing time
Your own writing voice
Writing journal articles
Editing as part of writing
Chapter 8: Being Your Authentic Self
What is your ‘whole-self’?
Loleta’s experience of bringing the authentic self to work
Disability bias and misunderstandings
Coping with being yourself
Getting ahead or being held back?
Chapter 9: Your mentoring identity
Why is a mentor important?
Mentoring in early career stage: PhD supervision
Variations in PhD studies
Female leaders as mentors
Who are inspirational mentors?
How to start a mentorship relationship
Various types of mentorship
Mentorship experiences at the administrative level
Resources and tips
Chapter 10: Your leadership identity
Characteristics of good academic leaders
How does one become a leader?
Our personal experiences of leadership
Inspirational leadership styles
The gloomy statistics
Leadership and the office culture
Women to top
Changes are pending
You are not alone
Chapter 11: This book and us
Chapter 12: References