Date published: May 24, 2012
Efforts to encourage gender equality for faculty members at British universities may be working at the expense of efforts to eradicate racial discrimination in academic recruitment, a leading British sociology professor warned. Despite government efforts to increase diversity and opportunities for minority faculty members, they continue to get short shrift, professor Andrew Pilkington of the University of Northampton told the British Sociological Associations annual conference last month. Pilkington reported that funding to modernize recruiting has gone largely to efforts to promote gender equality. Even legislation aimed at promoting racial equality has been of little help, Pilkington argued, saying that any impact has been "short-lived," with universities "still struggling to come to terms with what the legislation requires." And an independent review of the Equality Challenge Unit, which was set up to ensure equal opportunities at universities, has found that the unit has not done enough to help the schools. "In the light of this, it is scarcely surprising to discover that Black and minority ethnic academic staff continue to experience significant disadvantage in higher education," Pilkington said.