What I am working on today, as well as cowries: I have been invited by a Careers Adviser to talk at Sprowston High School, a local secondary school, tomorrow.
The purpose is to challenge gender stereotyping for a group of 11-12 year olds – try to get them to look beyond stereotypes they may unknowingly have.
Here are some interesting facts:
Some 22 per cent of professors – 4,415 out of 19,750 in total – were female in 2013-14 compared with just 15 per cent in 2003-04, according to a report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
The report, titled Staff in Higher Education 2013-14, which was published on 26 February, also says 45 per cent of the UK’s 194,245 academic staff are women.
A couple of anecdotes are also relevant here. There was the time when my daughter and her friend decided to impersonate a Professor: for them, this involved a long moustache, round glasses and a hunched posture. There was the time when I tried to join a swimming class online and the drop-down menu only allowed the title ‘Professor’ if you had ticked ‘Male’ as your gender. True story!