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Read our report on gender equality in Psychology departments

14 February 2018

Two key issues for Psychology have been confirmed by a survey of progress towards gender equality in Psychology departments across the UK.

Our Research Board conducted the survey, in collaboration with the Social Justice and Inclusion Task Force, as part of its work to further the principles set out in the Athena SWAN Charter.

It was conducted in the spring of 2017 and there were 16 responses from Psychology schools and departments across the UK.

The survey collected examples of good practice in five areas:

  • Teaching practice
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Transgender issues
  • Intersectionality.

It also suggests ways in which the Society can help progress on the two key issues it identifies.

To increase the number of senior female academics, it suggests we should provide guidance on gender-blind recruitment.

To increase the male undergraduate intake it suggests we should lobby for changes to pre-tertiary syllabus and conduct a survey on how psychology is viewed by school students.

Dr Sue Sherman, who oversaw the survey, says:

“Despite the moderate response rate, the survey came up with examples of good practice that can be shared, particularly by schools and departments that have yet to apply for an Athena SWAN award. The issues and barriers we identified are likely to be experienced by many of them.

The BPS could work with existing psychology networks around Athena SWAN and diversity to promote the sharing of good practice and it has an important role in promoting psychology at pre-tertiary level through its Standing Committee for Pre-tertiary Education.”


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