55% of university students are female but only 25% of professors are women

01 December 2015

With recent data showing that 55% of Australian university students are female, but only 25% of professors and 35% of associate professors are women, three female academics from Swinburne University of Technology have explained how more women can be promoted to senior positions in universities. Writing in the Conversation, Virginia Kilborn (Associate Professor of Astrophysics), Birgit Loch (Associate Professor in Mathematics Education) and Helana Scheepers (Associate Professor in Information Systems), describe how Swinburne set up a peer-support promotion program designed to motivate and empower women to apply for promotion. About 80 female academics took part, either as mentor or mentee, resulting in the number of promotion applications from women doubling this year. The academics write: “Our program shows that when women take their careers into their own hands and support each other, they can build confidence and are empowered to take the leap and apply for promotion.”