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EDI report reveals only one in three Oxford academics are women

The new University equality and diversity report shows women make up only one in three Oxford academics. The workforce is significantly more diverse in the younger age groups, with growth in both ethnic and gender diversity being notably slower amongst older employees.

The University of Oxford has published its annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) report for 2022-2023. The reports, prepared by the University’s Equality and Diversity Unit (EDU), have been published since 2016, and are rooted in the transparency requirements of the 2010 Equality Act. Data of this sort was first released ten years ago. 

Among its findings, it shows that the proportion of women diminishes as the ranking of academic positions increases. Regarding professors, in 2023, 28% were women, but among less senior positions their share was higher (over a third of Associate Professors). Ten years ago, the share of women across the University’s staff was 49%, however, only one in four of the academic staff were women.

Similar trends follow in ethnic diversity. Change among the University’s lower-level and younger staff is happening faster than at higher levels. Between 2014 and 2023 there has been an increase of only 3% and 4% in the share of black and minority ethnicity (BME) professors and academics respectively. Yet, among researchers, there has been an increase of 10%. It should be noted that, according to the 2023 EDI report, researchers are younger than academics: nearly 40% of researchers are under the age of 40, compared to 21% of academics. 

Oxford University has far more diversity amongst its younger employees. For employees under 30, women made up at least half of the workforce in each department, at some points representing up to two thirds. Yet, when it comes to older age groups, gender inequality grows substantially. Female academics are half of the under-30 group, approximately 40% of academics aged 30-49, approximately 30% of academics aged 50-64, and only 20% of those aged 65 or more. 

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