15/10/2020: Furthering Black Women in Higher Education and Careers by SOAS Events

SOAS Events, Black history month eventFurthering Black Women in Higher Education and Careers with Zeinab Badawi, Lavinya Stennett, Mx Busisiwe Deyi and Dr Emilia Onyema

This year arguably marks one of the most important Black History Months since their inception in 1987. In 2020 the world finally began to openly discuss ‘Black Lives Matter’, and the UK has started conversations discussing our shared history and its link to the vast inequalities that impact Black people today.

UK Universities and workplaces have been heavily criticised for failing to promote and recruit Black and minority ethnic academics. Less than 1% of higher education academic staff are Black within the UK and the latest data shows the BAME attainment gap is 13.2%, with the largest difference being between black and white students. The UK only has 695 Black women as teaching academics, out of a total of 100,365 women in academia. In regard to career imbalances in the UK, 77% of white people are employed, compared to 65% of people from all other ethnic groups combined. Employment rates for Black women (ages 16 – 64) decrease further to 63%, compared to 72% of Black men in the UK. These disparities are a significant issue, where inequalities of race, gender and class are interconnected.

Looking towards the future, our panel will create a dialogue of insight for black women on their academic and professional career journey, as we collectively work to shift these institutional paradigms and make real change. We will have a roundtable discussion and Q&A, celebrating the success of black women and also discussing how they can get the most out of their education and careers.


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