Staying Power: Career Experiences & Strategies of UK Black Female Professors

Staying Power: Career Experiences & Strategies of UK Black Female Professors, authored by Nicola Rollock and published in February 2019 is the first UK study to focus on the career experiences of Black female Professors. GUCU encourages all members to read the report in full:

Key findings include:

  1. Culture of higher education: characterised by excessive workloads & unsocial hours; explicit and passive bullying; racial stereotyping and microaggressions
  2. Promotion and progression: Route to professorship lacks transparency; feedback on applications is poor and inconsistent
  3. White female academics: contribute to the exclusion of Black female academics
  4. Self-care and strategies for survival: Academia represents a ‘hostile environment’ for Black women. Self-care and vigilance are important.

Key Recommendations: 

  1. Work with Advance HE to disseminate findings; facilitate a roundtable discussion of policy implications
  2. Set up dedicated initiatives to establish transparency in salaries and the recruitment process
  3. Work with Universities UK to establish clear progression criteria; review the need for Heads of Department to approve Professorial applications; compel HEIs to publish annually promotion decisions by gender and ethnicity
  4. Establish a nationwide campaign to challenge passive bullying; mandate that HEIs provide mandatory racial justice training

We will be discussing the following motion at our next branch meeting on Tuesday 19 March, 1pm, RHB 251, and discussing what initiatives the branch can take in line with recommendations.

Motion: Staying Power

Goldsmiths UCU

1) Accepts and acknowledges the findings of the report ‘Staying power: the career experiences and strategies of UK Black female Professors’ and resolves to,

2) Act upon the report’s recommendations

Proposed Nicola Rollock

Seconded Marian Carty