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Women are over-represented in tutor and senior tutor academic positions

The facts Women are over-represented in both tutor and senior tutor positions. There are 55 female tutors and 21 male tutors at the University, and 68 female senior tutors compared with 56 male senior tutors. Women comprise 72% of tutor positions and 55% of senior tutor positions. Women’s over-representation in these positions matters because these positions are “non-career” academic positions. Because there is no direct promotion from a senior tutor position to a lecturer position, there is also no promotion or direct career path to more senior academic roles. In addition, 28% of all senior tutors and 53% of all tutors are on fixed term contracts, as detailed in Table 25, which mean that many tutors and senior tutors face a double disadvantage. (See the section on fixed-term agreements for discussion about the disadvantages of this form of employment.) Table 25: Number and percentage of tutors on fixed-term contracts by gender Male Number Senior Tutor




All Tutors and Senior Tutors


Number and % on fixed-term agreement 14 (25%) 13 (62%) 27 (35%)

Female Number and % Number on fixed-term agreement 68 21 (31%) 55 27 (49%) 123 48 (39%)

Total Number 124 76 200

Number and % on fixed-term agreement 35 (28%) 40 (53%) 85 (43%)

Half (31)72 of all female tutors and a quarter of male tutors (7) are on the top step of the pay scale, and an even higher numbers of both male and female senior tutors (36 men and 37 women) are at the top step of the scale. The tutor and senior tutor scales then, appear to operate as a structural barrier to those who wish to pursue full academic careers. Exploring the issue The PaEE review committee found the issue of women’s over-representation in tutor and senior tutor positions to be a complex and problematic area, with a considerable amount of contested information and perceptions about the role. The committee looked at this issue both generally and specifically. By generally we mean there are a number of issues that are particular to the tutor and senior tutor positions per se, that are problems for both male and female incumbents in this role. Central to this was the contested view about the role of tutors. While there is a clear organisational view that tutor positions are intended to be teaching positions, there seems to be equally clear evidence that, in practice, tutors are undertaking a number of functions, at times including research, and can be carrying out other 72

There are a slightly larger number of people on the tutor grade, than there are whose job title is ‘tutor’. This accounts for the total number of women tutors who have the job title of tutor (55), and the number of women who are paid in the tutor grade (62). Despite this slight variation, the issue under discussion remains valid.


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Massey PaEE Review Final Report

Massey PaEE Review Final Report

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