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Motivating Statistics of the Day [20080408|14:01]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Filling out my annual assessment form today has prompted me to look up certain Imperial College policies, and while doing so I ran across the following. I keep thinking, I know everybody's probably sick of hearing and thinking about gender and ethnic inequality, but why isn't it changing? Doesn't anyone care any more? This battle started before I was even born. Why isn't it over yet?

Imperial College Diversity Statistics for 2006

Employees by gender (%)

All staff42.2%57.8%
Level 1, 2, 3 & 456.5%43.5%
Level 5 & 640.9%59.1%
Level 712.5%87.5%
Academic grades19.5%80.5%
Research grades35.4%64.6%


Level 1,2,3 and 4 is where most of my colleagues and I, who are all non-academic staff, reside. Additionally, these are statistics for staff throughout college. They are even more skewed inside the Faculties of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

Employees by ethnic origin (%)

AsianBlackChineseMixedOtherWhiteNo data
All staff7.6%3.7%4.1%1.8%1.9%75.1%5.8%
Level 1, 2, 3 & 46.7%6.8%2.7%2.3%1.9%73.9%5.7%
Level 5 & 65.8%0.8%1.6%1.6%0.8%86.8%2.7%
Level 74.2%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%95.8%0.0%
Academic grades4.6%0.3%2.9%1.2%1.2%84.5%5.2%
Research grades10.9%1.7%7.1%1.6%2.3%69.4%6.8%

I will be happy on the day when looking back and forth between the "Mixed" and "White" columns doesn't make me depressed. In the meantime, I strive to divert the energy spent on impotent fist-shaking into volunteering for outreach programmes. What else can I do?

[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2008-04-08 13:38 (UTC)
It doesn't surprise me that there aren't many women in senior positions at Imperial. It's easy to forget just how recently women have moved into, especially, engineering in the UK. Durham graduated its first woman engineer in 1978 and she had a hell of a time in the workplace. Frex, she had the hardest time get the necessary supervisory experience for her CEng because the AUEW at the plant she was working at wouldn't allow its members to work under her supervision.

I'm actually quite impressed by how high the proportion of non-whites in the academic and research grades are though.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-04-08 14:29 (UTC)
It's not bad, and, as imyril pointed out, even rather heartening in light of the overall population statistics for the UK. I just wish that colleges based in London reflected the London population distribution a bit better.
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2008-04-08 14:31 (UTC)
But Imperial is not in any sense a 'local' institution. A university of that status in the UK wil draw is staff and students from all over.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-04-08 14:34 (UTC)
That's true, but if you're going to extend it on that basis, then it should really be a global institution, as international collaboration is the cornerstone of grade 5* research universities. And I don't think any academic institution reflects global population statistics. Nor, I suppose, can they hope to while socioeconomic conditions remain so disparate.
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[User Picture]From: foreverdirt
2008-04-08 13:44 (UTC)
GAH! I admire you for having more productive responses than just punching a wall, but also? GAH!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-04-08 14:25 (UTC)
I try to have productive responses, but my first instinctive one is always a prolonged growl.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-04-08 14:24 (UTC)
I guess that's the thing that bugs me about the statistics. This is Imperial College London. Nearly half the total minority population of the UK lived in London in 2001. I can understand why every institution in the UK cannot hope to hire zillions of ethnic minorities, but institutions in London? They should be trying harder.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-04-08 14:27 (UTC)
The gender statistic is actually the one I find most infuriating. Is there a clearer indication of a glass ceiling than that humongous fracking drop from 40% to 12% from Level 6 to Level 7? Not to mention the overall trend towards low pay for most women and high pay for most men.
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[User Picture]From: wiggyfish
2008-04-08 17:34 (UTC)
I'm not sure what to make of that "mixed" stat. Numbers like these are entirely dependent on self-identification, which, at least in the US, is queered by historic advantage, tradition, and the number of boxes given on forms. Our population is extremely beige -- show me a white person with no native or black blood and no opinions on inheritance taxes, and I'll show you someone who's either lying or not paying attention -- but few people call themselves "mixed" or "other".

I do understand that self-identification affects the way others perceive you, so these numbers are valid in that sense ... I'm just saying that if this chart described an American college, the numbers wouldn't reflect biological reality. I can't decide whether that matters.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-04-11 08:30 (UTC)
Our population is extremely beige -- show me a white person with no native or black blood and no opinions on inheritance taxes, and I'll show you someone who's either lying or not paying attention -- but few people call themselves "mixed" or "other".

That's true. I think a lot of people probably tend to pick the percentage that's the culture they identify with most closely (even if it's not the majority of their genetic ethnic makeup) and go with that one. I don't think mixing is as common in the UK as it is in the States, too. I would say that most of the immigrant population here is relatively "young" - two or three generations old, so the integration process is still ongoing.
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2008-04-08 18:17 (UTC)
You failed to factor in that girls have cooties. It's an inescapable fact. It makes them lousy managers.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-04-09 13:43 (UTC)
Clearly the solution to this is to demand that we all bathe in Nair. Being bald will make us all smarter.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-04-09 13:44 (UTC)
If I knew which, I'd convert tomorrow.
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