Women Academics

Academic Women Here! On being a female academic at the University of St Andrews

Download: Academic-Women-Here-St-Andrews-2017 (PDF, 7,793 KB)

Women academics at the University of St Andrews talk openly and honestly about the highs and lows they have experienced in pursuing their careers, in a new booklet which was formally launched on 5 February 2018 by the Principal.

The publication reveals the diversity of possible paths through academia and highlights the variety of routes women have forged to take their careers in academia forward and emphasises the fact that there is no such thing as an archetypal female academic.

Illustrating the diversity of pathways and experiences is an important counter to the familiar rhetoric that, by conceptualising women’s careers in terms of linear ‘ladders’ or ‘pipelines’, may have the effect of marginalising or demotivating those whose careers do not fit a perceived stereotypical ideal pattern.

The challenges negotiated by women in this booklet include:

  • Going part-time
  • Caring for children and elderly relatives
  • Long-distance relationships
  • Balancing personal and professional lives  
  • Gaining recognition for academic activities other than research
  • Prioritising the competing aspects of academic life.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone, the University’s second female Principal, said:

“In St Andrews, as in other UK higher education institutions, there are still fewer women the further you go up the academic tree. We are working to change that: through revisions to our promotions structures; through a new mentoring programme for senior women; through expansion of our childcare provision. But a great way to infuse change into our culture is to encourage women academics to speak for themselves. Reading these honest and thoughtful reflections on their career paths by a generation of women makes me proud to be at St Andrews, and the more determined to do all we can to enable women’s fulfilment of their potential here.”


Academic Women Now: Experiences of mid-career academic women in Scotland 

Download: Academic Women Now: Experiences of mid-career academic women in Scotland (2016) (PDF, 4,218 KB)‌