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Why universities need more women at the top

European universities are failing in the way they use human resources. Women are underrepresented at the top levels of academia, and there are good reasons to think that this damages universities. In the 27 countries making up the European Union, 59% of university graduates are women, but only 18% of full professors are women. And only 9% of universities have a women at the top of the organisation. For more statistics, see the European Commission’s SHE figures.

Why should we care? Why is this a problem? Why should we work harder to achieve gender balance at the highest levels of academia? There are two kinds of answers to these questions. One appeals to fairness and social justice: we should care, we should work harder, because it’s the right thing to do. The other kind of answer appeals to the way groups and organisations work, namely, that it’s the smart thing to do. Let me illustrate each of these.                            Click here to read the rest of this article by Curt Rice

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