We would all like to believe that in this day and age, gender equality is not an issue. It specifically should not be an issue in educational institutes. If we are going to give females hope of succeeding just as well as men, there needs to be some changes made. Unfortunately, there is a big gap in female versus male professors at universities.
It has been knows for some time that females have to work twice as hard as men to be recognized. If only a statement of purpose for masters was seen the same way. Dame Athene Donald, a professor at Cambridge University believes that the lack of mentors and women not aiming high enough is to blame for the difference in numbers. It seems like there is always going to be a lack for females, but what can we do to close that gap?
Unfortunately, women have to fight harder than men to get to position of power, but it is not to say it’s impossible. If you set your expectations to high as a female, you might be disappointed. That is not to say, you have to lower your standards at all. In fact, this has to serve as motivation to do as well as any man ever could. Prof Paul Boyle has made it his mission to employ more female professors at Leicester, but the rest of the world hasn’t caught up yet. Shouldn’t the best statement of purpose win result in more success over gender?
Change the past
We already know that previously men got preference over woman, but we have to change the stereotype in order for the difference to last. Harvard and Oxford Universities have their first female heads and this is changing generations. It only takes one person to do it, for others to believe it can be done. For Louise Richardson to be the first women to be the head of Oxford University in 800 years, sets the standard for the other women with that dream. It is never impossible, until it is done.
Women are more likely to take breaks in their careers to raise a family and this has not been the norm for men. We see it happen every day and it is most likely not going to change anytime soon, unless we allow the change to happen. Employers look at these numbers and would most likely employ a male knowing what the future holds. This is plain out discrimination, even though it is expected for a woman to stay home and raise her kids. A professional statement of purpose should not depend on the gender, but rather the quality of work. One should also not assume about what the future would hole, but instead, give the opportunity to the best candidate in the moment.
Females are just as capable as their male counterparts. Unfortunately, the world hasn’t caught up yet and especially not universities. This article should have been about how universities are not sexist, but as time continues, it still is a sore subject. Who knows what lies ahead of us. At least now, women are fighting for equal rights and it is definitely a step in the right direction. We all have to stand together in this issue. Male and female should be on the same page, fighting for this to be an issue of the past.