EqualBITE – Gender Equality in Higher Education

Over the past 2 years I’ve been working with the original BITE team (Judy Robertson and Alison Williams) and colleagues at Edinburgh University (Lara Isbel and Daphne Loads) to produce EqualBITE: Gender Equality in Higher Education.

(PS It’s available FREE to download from the publisher’s website (so stop reading this and go get it now!): https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/other-books/equalbite/)

The project itself was challenging for the whole editing team and for a number of shared and personal reasons. In Higher Education we do like to think that we are a bit fairer or better at being inclusive than some other institutions – so it can be hard when you are confronted with evidence to the contrary.

Even harder when you realise that, no matter how you frame it, if you are benefiting in any way from inequality, you have to share some responsibility for that.

But what was (for me) so positive about the book was how it was always possible to find some way of making a positive change – we always had a story, or some case study, or some research that it doesn’t have to be this way: that showed a way to make things better.

I thought I’d share one recipe that really stuck in my mind as a physical and visual story of recognising a problem and then doing something about it. The title is pretty powerful, too, and it applies across a number of inequalities and intersectionalities too.

So enjoy You Can’t Be what you Can’t See (pdf) by Jo Spiller & Sarah Mo.

Meanings are projected not just by the buildings themselves, but by how they are furnished and decorated (Williams, 2013). And where almost every image – portrait, photograph, statue – of academic achievement and leadership is masculine (and nearly always white middle-aged), the meaning is clear: to be a successful leader, gender and ethnicity matter.

Read the full PDF here 

Book Illustration by Elspeth Maxwell | Book Design by Alan J. Tait

Robertson, J., Williams, A., Jones, D., Isbel, L. and Loads, D. (eds.) (2017) EqualBITE Gender Equality in Higher Education, 1st ed. Rotterdam, Sense Publishers [Online]. Available at https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/other-books/equalbite/.

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