Women in Governance highly rated at Heriot-Watt



Heriot-Watt has been placed fourth in the UK in a new report on the participation of women in university governance. The University was also placed second in Scotland, after Glasgow School of Art.

Equality and diversity are key motivators in the University's strategy.
Dame Frances Cairncross

The report, 'Women Count: Leaders in Higher Education 2016', was produced by Women Count, a not-for-profit enterprise focussed in indexing women's participation the third sector and public bodies and issues that result in their underrepresentation.

The report's authors considered the importance of women in leadership positions at Universities from governance roles to the executive to leading academic positions. They note some progress across the UK, with women increasing their overall share of governing body roles to 36% from 32% in 2013, but that there was still some way to go. Across all the regions Scotland has shown the most dramatic increase in women governing body members, gender-balanced governing bodies and female Chairs.

The report notes that the two most senior roles in Governance, the Chair of the Governing Body and the Vice-Chancellor, are 'very much a male domain', and cites Dame Frances Cairncross' position as Heriot-Watt's Chair of Court in its listing.

Dame Frances Cairncross said, “It is very pleasing to see Heriot-Watt so highly placed in this report and league table. Equality and diversity are key motivators in the University's strategy, and this acknowledgement is a welcome reflection of what we are achieving, especially following our recent Athena Swann successes and the ongoing 'Doing things differently' campaign.