50:50 Gender Equality Group 24 April 2012 MINUTES

50:50 Gender Equality Group
24 April 2012
Annette Dolphin (Chair)
David Attwell
Sarah Chaytor
Alena Chong
Anna Cox
Rob de Bruin
Rosalind Duhs
Sarah Guise
Geraint Rees
Sarah Winmill
Patrick Woolfe
Ifat Yas
In attendance: Sonal Bharadva (Secretary), Rachel Port (Academic Support)
and Nigel Waugh (Human Resources).
Apologies were received from Mary Collins, Purvangi Dave, Marjan
Jahanshahi, Charlotte Lemanski and Judith Stephenson.
1. Welcome, minutes and matters arising
1.1 Annette Dolphin (AD) introduced herself as the new Chair of the 50:50
group. A voting procedure to put in place a Chair took place via email prior
to the meeting.
1.2 Minutes – AD proposed that the minutes from the last meeting be
approved subject to the first paragraph being corrected which stated that,
‘MC…indicated that within Life Sciences departments avoid meeting in
core hours.’ This should be amended to read ‘MC…indicated that within
Life Sciences departments avoid meeting outside core hours.’ This was
supposed to be seen as an example of good practice which could be used
as a model across the university.
1.3 Staff survey results – It was intended that the results from the staff survey
would be presented at a future meeting of the Group as the topic did not
relate to the recruitment theme of this meeting.
1.4 Role models project – Geraint Rees (GR) talked about the named project
where 50 nominations had been made. The project was a school-wide
activity. People could self-nominate to become role models, although the
majority of role models had been nominated by others. Members were
invited to email GR for further information about the project or to
Action: Group members
1.5 Equal Pay – It was intended that the next meeting of the Group would
focus on equal pay with either UCL’s Reward Manager or Director of
Policy and Planning in attendance to discuss the matter further.
2. Agree Terms of Reference
2.1 It was proposed that the 50:50 group should have a formal reporting line
to the Committee for Equal Opportunities (CEO). It was agreed that AD
would write to the CEO Chair about this matter.
Action: Chair
2.2 Confidentiality – AD reminded the group about the need for confidentiality
around sensitive in future meetings.
3. Presentation and discussion on recruitment data
3.1 Sarah Guise (SG) presented recruitment data relating to gender for the
past year (2010-11) to the Group. The monitoring data was obtained via
UCL’s online recruitment system (ROME), and it was noted that posts that
were recruited via external head-hunters were (probably) not included in
ROME. The data indicated that there were stark differentials by ethnicity
but not to the same extent by gender.
3.2 During discussion, the following points in relation to the presentation were
 There were more female applicants than male for administrative and
managerial posts.
 There was an occupational segregation – women were represented
more in administrative and managerial posts at UCL.
 For grades 9 & 10 there were fewer female applicants, but those
shortlisted were more likely to be appointed than men.
 Grades 9 & 10 research posts – there appeared to be more bias in this
area although it was commented that people were unsure who would
be in grades 9 & 10 research posts.
 Teaching posts – members were surprised that females were less well
represented in this area.
 The sex of interview panellists on selection panels for posts at grades 9
& 10 posts were 70:30 male:female.
3.3 The Group made the following comments/queries:
The accuracy of the data was queried since the numbers in some
groups were very small, and it was suggested that acquiring more data
would be useful.
The Group suggested that data on the number of contracts issued in
the past year would be useful to allow for comparison against the data.
Action: SG
3.4 SG made the following observations:
 Women fared better than men in recruitment for support and clinical
positions – did this create a critical mass?
 Bias in research posts was more pronounced than for academic posts
 Minor attrition of women in teaching posts.
 Women made up less than a third of grade 9 &10 interview panels.
3.5 SG suggested the following considerations for the Group:
 How to ensure that data for all posts was captured on ROME, to
include those senior posts that used head-hunters?
 Whether to set a quota of women on panels?
 Why there might be more bias in recruitment for research posts than
academic ones?
 Whether to use the ‘tiebreak’ provisions of the Equality Act 2010 for
‘equal’ candidates?
 How to enhance staff training in recruitment?
3.6 It was commented that UCL already included an encouraging statement to
women to apply for vacancies but more could be done to promote family
friendly polices. The University of Nottingham had developed an early
career fellowship programme and UCL could formulate an equivalent
programme to recruit more women. A commitment from UCL’s senior
management had also recently been made to make UCL’s recruitment
policy more flexible.
3.7 Diverse panels – It was proposed that the group would make a
recommendation to CEO that 30% of selection panel members should be
female. Some women had complained that they were repeatedly asked to
sit on such panels. This was often referred to as a ‘gender tax’ where
women were taxed on their time for good citizenship work. It was
commented that the allocation of administrative roles within departments
was often unfair and it was recommended that if women were to be asked
to sit on panels their other existing tasks should be reduced accordingly in
liaison with their line manager/Head of Department (HoD). As a
comparator, Oxford University was known to have a similar policy in place
which meant that there was always at least one female on each selection
panel for each post. It was suggested that SG liaise with her counterpart at
Oxford University to discuss the impact of this policy.
Action: SG
3.8 It was also noted that when HoDs contacted Academic Support about
selection panels for Chair and Readership appointments at UCL,
departments were advised to ensure that there was a gender balance on
the panel although this was known to be difficult in certain academic
disciplines where there were not many female academic staff .It was
agreed that SG prepare a draft letter of recommendation regarding the
composition of the selection panels to be sent to the group for comment.
Action: SG
4. PhD students, research fellowships and recruitment
4.1 In Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology (NPP) the gender split
was 50:50 at appointment level for PhD posts. When applicants were
shortlisted there were more women than men. In the past the department
had tried to balance this split out at offer level. They also insisted on
having two men and two women on their selection panels. It was noted
that the main issue regarding PhD students is that their research overruns
so they would need paying more money.
4.2 AD delivered a short presentation on the fellowship route to a permanent
academic post, focussing on NPP department.
The following comments were made:
In general there was a strong bias towards men in those currently
holding independent fellowships that could, if renewed, lead to
permanent academic posts.
The female success rate in SLMS Excellence Fellowships and
Bioscience fellowships which were advertised in open competition was
There was a differential ambition of men and women. Although women
would apply if they believed the competition was open, they would not
put themselves forward as readily.
In NPP a large proportion of young staff would obtain permanent posts
through obtaining more than 8 years support on independent
fellowships which by-pass formal recruitment processes.
4.3 The following suggestions were made for ways forward:
Event or conference next year to raise awareness of this issue.
It was agreed that AD contact HoDs asking for data around fellowships
and numbers of those who were guaranteed permanent jobs.
Action: AD
A call for fellowships rather than waiting for somebody to come along.
5. Diverse panels
The discussion around diverse panels was covered at Minute 3 above.
6. HR Director – recruiting women into senior posts
6.1 Discussion took place about recruiting women into senior posts at UCL. A
paper was presented to the Provost’s Senior Management Team (SMT)
stating that something different had to be done in order to recruit more
women as in the past year there had only been a 0.06% increase in the
50:50 target for men and women in senior grades. A number of solutions
were presented in the paper, some of which included:
Tailored leadership programmes for talented women.
Appointment of Vice Dean (Equalities & Diversity) in each faculty.
Requiring that females comprised no less than a third of all recruitment
and promotion panels across UCL.
Ensure that women at all career stages at UCL had access to
mentoring from someone other than their line manager, including those
in support roles.
SG commented that there were a lot of recommendations on the paper
which made the document too long. It was proposed that the Group
highlight the most important priorities to be included within a revised draft.
Action: Group members
6.2 Consultation regarding the waiving of advertising had previously taken
place. In response to the feedback, the policy was intended to be
tightened and the number of posts that could waive advertising would be
limited. It was expected that the norm would still be competitive selection.
6.3 Equal pay – it was commented that many people did not always start at
the bottom of their grade when starting a new job at UCL. It was noted
that men and women could go to HR regarding pay equity claims if they
believed someone had been paid more for the same job. It was intended
that SG would invite the HR Reward Manager or HR Director, Policy &
Planning to attend the next meeting to discuss equal pay.
Action: SG
6.4 The following suggestions were made for ways that HR could assist the
Compare grant data - focus on one faculty to begin with.
Find out about workload allocation as often men were given less
teaching and admin duties in some faculties.
Create a climate where women did not fear asking for equal pay.
7. Priorities and date for next meeting
7.1 It was intended that the next meeting would focus on workload and pay.
SG agreed to arrange a doodle poll for the date of the next meeting.
Action: SG