Gender stereotypes and student life

Equal BITE is a crowd-sourced ‘recipe’ book which aims to share advice and suggestions to minimise negative stereotypes about men and women. The project supports equal opportunities to people, regardless of their gender, within this University and beyond.  Our focus is on strategies which make student (and work) life better for everyone.

Achieving equality covers a wide range of activities and things to ponder. Here are some examples:

The visibility of women

  • If you are an arts and humanities student, how many of the writers, artists, musicians, philosophers etc. whose work you study are women? Should this change?
  • Who are the buildings you have lectures in named after? Who are the portraits in University buildings of?
  • Who teaches you? Are both genders are well represented in your subject, particularly in senior roles?

The influence of bias

  • There are several studies which show that students tend to rate female teaching staff lower than male teaching staff regardless of more objective measures such as grades awarded, time taken to provide feedback etc. Could unconscious bias be influencing your view of the teaching staff on your courses?
  • This might involve looking at human resource processes to check that gender is not influencing appointment or promotion decisions, how much someone is paid or who gets to have flexible working hours.

The culture and working environment.

  • Have you ever felt uncomfortable on campus because of your gender? This could include things like being on the receiving end of sexist comments or feeling that your contributions to class discussions are ignored.
  • It could also be pressure to act in a certain way based on traditional gender roles which don’t feel like you. Or being discouraged from choosing a particular career path.
  • Do you get annoyed when it feels like there are opportunities or support you would like but miss out on because of your gender?

What do you think?

We are running a short survey until 16th December where you can add your thoughts.