Women’s organizations in the UK and other countries have repeatedly criticized gender discrimination in school and in higher education. Women are still extremely underrepresented among college and university teachers. In 1990, there were only 120 female professors in the UK, which was 4% of the total number of professors. Women made up 31% of all contract researchers in 1988, but only about 7% of full-time employees (Bogdanor 1990).
In their book Storming the Tower, Suzanne Lai and Virginia O’Leary analyzed statistical data on the status of women in higher education in various countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, Norway, India and Israel (Lie and O’l. eaiy 1990). In all the countries studied in the post-war period, the proportion of women among students has continuously increased. In the USA, Israel and Norway, women made up approximately half of all students. However, as far as academic positions are concerned, the picture looks much less rosy. Women made up only a small percentage of university teachers in these countries, and everywhere they, as a rule, occupied lower-ranking positions or worked freelance.
Later, an independent study of teachers’ pay and working conditions was conducted in the United Kingdom, led by Sir Michael Betg and initiated by the Office of Labor Economics (Guardian. 4 and 5 May. 1999). The study found that full-time male scientists were paid an average of £4,259 more at older universities than their female colleagues. Even within the same academic rank, women were paid less than men; thus, female professors were paid an average of 1,807 pounds less than male professors. Over 90% of all professors at these universities were men.