|Motivating Statistics of the Day
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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 (%)
|Level 1, 2, 3 & 4||56.5%||43.5%|
|Level 5 & 6||40.9%||59.1%|
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 (%)
|Level 1, 2, 3 & 4||6.7%||6.8%||2.7%||2.3%||1.9%||73.9%||5.7%|
|Level 5 & 6||5.8%||0.8%||1.6%||1.6%||0.8%||86.8%||2.7%|
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
GAH! I admire you for having more productive responses than just punching a wall, but also? GAH!
I try to have productive responses, but my first instinctive one is always a prolonged growl.
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.
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.
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.
You failed to factor in that girls have cooties. It's an inescapable fact. It makes them lousy managers.
Clearly the solution to this is to demand that we all bathe in Nair. Being bald will make us all smarter.
If I knew which, I'd convert tomorrow.