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Less than a third of older academics are women, data shows

Older female academics are significantly outnumbered by their male colleagues, new figures have revealed.

Of academic staff aged 30 and under in 2012, nearly half (48 per cent) were female, while of those aged 61 and over, less than a third (30 per cent) were women, data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows.

Female staff were more likely than male staff to be working part-time in every age group.

The statistics reflect the under-representation of women working in senior management roles in higher education. Less than 15 per cent of vice chancellors are women.

Earlier this month, more than 50 Cambridge University academics called for changes to the way senior appointments are made to tackle the lack of female professors.

At present 22 per cent of professors in UK universities are women. The group said that recruitment should consider aspects such as teaching and outreach work as well as academic publications.

The HESA data shows that there were 185,585 academic staff employed at UK Higher Education Institutions in December 2012.

Some 55.5 per cent of academic staff was male. Nearly a third (31 per cent) were aged 51 years or over and two thirds were employed full-time.

Separate data published this week shows that teachers and lecturers are the group of workers most likely to put in unpaid overtime.

The figures, complied by the TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours campaign, reveal that over half (54.2 per cent) of teaching professionals do extra unpaid work each week and, at 12 hours a week, they clock up more unpaid overtime than any other profession.