LSW Gender Balance Working Group: Report and Recommendations
The criteria for election to Fellowship of the Learned Society of Wales state that it is the Society’s wish, as far as possible, to achieve a broad balance amongst the Fellowship.
The Society’s Council is very much aware of the need (subject to the over-riding criterion of the excellence of those elected) to ensure an appropriate balance within the Fellowship (in terms of age, subject distribution, geographical distribution and, in particular, sex).
In October 2013, the Council established a Working Group on Gender Balance, comprising Fellows of the Society, whose remit was to advise it, via the Nominations Committee, on how the current imbalance in the gender distribution of the Fellowship might most appropriately be addressed. The Council invited me to Chair the Group, whose other members were:
Professor David Boucher
Professor Kenneth Dyson
Professor Dianne Edwards
Professor Mari Lloyd-Williams
Professor Ole Peterson
Ms Ceridwen Roberts
Professor Wynn Thomas
The Secretary to the Group was Dr Sarah Morse.
Working within its remit, the Group has prepared a paper for the Nominations Committee and Council of the Society which reflects upon the gender balance among the Society’s Fellows and concludes that the number of nominations of women is disproportionately low and that, as a consequence, women have less chance of being elected Fellows.
The Group has explored what approaches other Learned Societies have taken on this issue, and in constructing a set of recommendations has built upon their experience and expertise.
The Group’s Report was submitted to the Nominations Committee on 12 March and to the Council on 19 March 2014 and was warmly welcomed by both bodies. The Group’s recommendations, as approved by the Council, are attached at Appendix C of the document.
As Chair of the Working Group, I am delighted that fellow Council members endorsed these recommendations, which are designed to ensure that the Society has a better chance of identifying and recognising excellent women scholars.
We are now in a position to ensure that the Learned Society of Wales has fair and transparent nomination and selection procedures that will help to guard against unconscious bias.
Professor Teresa Rees CBE AcSS FRSA FLSW