IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gender Equality and Positive Action: Evidence from UK Universities


  • Danula K. Gamage
  • Almudena Sevilla


This paper examines the impact of the Athena Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN) Charter on the wages and employment trajectories of female faculty. The Athena SWAN Charter is a gender equality initiative that formally recognizes good practice towards the representation and career progression of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) through an accreditation process. We find that the gender wage gap closes after Athena SWAN accreditation. However, female faculty at the non-professorial level are not more likely to be promoted to professor after accreditation, or to move to an Athena SWAN accredited university. Taken together these results suggest that the higher wage growth experienced by female non-professorial faculty after Athena SWAN accreditation is likely to come from pay rises within a particular rank.

Suggested Citation

  • Danula K. Gamage & Almudena Sevilla, 2019. "Gender Equality and Positive Action: Evidence from UK Universities," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 105-109, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:apandp:v:109:y:2019:p:105-09
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20191096

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard & Jenna Stearns, 2018. "Equal but Inequitable: Who Benefits from Gender-Neutral Tenure Clock Stopping Policies?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(9), pages 2420-2441, September.
    2. Shelly Lundberg & Jenna Stearns, 2019. "Women in Economics: Stalled Progress," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    3. Linda Babcock & Maria P. Recalde & Lise Vesterlund & Laurie Weingart, 2017. "Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 714-747, March.
    4. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos-Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2017. "Does the Gender Composition of Scientific Committees Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1207-1238, April.
    5. Ian Gregory‐Smith, 2018. "Positive Action Towards Gender Equality: Evidence from the Athena SWAN Charter in UK Medical Schools," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 56(3), pages 463-483, September.
    6. Scott E. Carrell & Marianne E. Page & James E. West, 2010. "Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1101-1144.
    7. Francine D. Blau & Janet M. Currie & Rachel T. A. Croson & Donna K. Ginther, 2010. "Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 348-352, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Sarah & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "Women in economics: A UK Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 15034, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Gamage, Danula K. & Kavetsos, Georgios & Mallick, Sushanta & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "Pay Transparency Initiative and Gender Pay Gap: Evidence from Research-Intensive Universities in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 13635, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Mila Getmansky Sherman & Heather E. Tookes, 2022. "Female Representation in the Academic Finance Profession," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 317-365, February.
    2. Heinrichs, Katrin & Sonnabend, Hendrik, 2020. "The glass ceiling revisited: empirical evidence from the German academic career ladder," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224594, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Smith, Sarah & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "Women in economics: A UK Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 15034, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:19337555 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Verónica Amarante & Marisa Bucheli & María Inés Moraes & Tatiana Pérez, 2021. "Women in Research in Economics in Uruguay," Revista Cuadernos de Economia, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, FCE, CID, vol. 40(84), pages 763-790, October.
    6. Dennis Wesselbaum, 2023. "Understanding the Drivers of the Gender Productivity Gap in the Economics Profession," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 68(1), pages 61-73, March.
    7. Salvanes, Kjell G & Johnsen, Julian Vedeler & Ku, Hyejin, 2020. "Competition and Career Advancement: The Hidden Costs of Paid Leave," CEPR Discussion Papers 15157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Karen Mumford & Cristina Sechel, 2020. "Pay and Job Rank among Academic Economists in the UK: Is Gender Relevant?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(1), pages 82-113, March.
    9. Rodrigo Dorantes-Gilardi & Aurora A. Ramírez-Álvarez & Diana Terrazas-Santamaría, 2023. "Is there a differentiated gender effect of collaboration with super-cited authors? Evidence from junior researchers in economics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 128(4), pages 2317-2336, April.
    10. Zacchia, Giulia, 2016. "Segregation or homologation? Gender differences in recent Italian economic thought," MPRA Paper 72279, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Mario Macis & Mirco Tonin, 2017. "Gender Differences in Earnings and Leadership: Recent Evidence on Causes and Consequences," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(02), pages 18-21, August.
    12. Sangeeta Bansal & Brinda Viswanathan & J. V. Meenakshi, 2023. "Does research performance explain the “leaky pipeline” in Indian academia? A study of agricultural and applied economics," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 54(2), pages 274-288, March.
    13. Itzik Fadlon & Frederik Plesner Lyngse & Torben Heien Nielsen, 2022. "Causal Effects of Early Career Sorting on Labor and Marriage Market Choices: A Foundation for Gender Disparities and Norms," CEBI working paper series 22-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    14. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Friebel, Guido & Weinberger, Alisa & ,, 2021. "Women in Economics: Europe and the World," CEPR Discussion Papers 16686, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Emre Özel, 2022. "A Conceptual Framework for Studying Gender Bias in Grant Peer Review," Working Papers halshs-03862027, HAL.
    16. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:18-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Laura Hospido & Luc Laeven & Ana Lamo, 2022. "The Gender Promotion Gap: Evidence from Central Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 104(5), pages 981-996, December.
    18. Leanne Roncolato & Alex Roomets, 2020. "Who will change the “baby?” Examining the power of gender in an experimental setting," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 823-852, September.
    19. Timothy N. Cason & Lata Gangadharan, 2022. "Gender, Beliefs, and Coordination with Externalities Approach," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1330, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    20. Rebecca Cassells & Leonora Risse & Danielle Wood & Duygu Yengin, 2023. "Lifting Diversity and Inclusion in Economics: How the Australian Women in Economics Network Put the Evidence into Action," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 42(1), pages 1-29, March.
    21. Giulio Marini & Viviana Meschitti, 2018. "The trench warfare of gender discrimination: evidence from academic promotions to full professor in Italy," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(2), pages 989-1006, May.
    22. Joyce J. Chen & Daniel Crown, 2019. "The Gender Pay Gap in Academia: Evidence from the Ohio State University," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 101(5), pages 1337-1352, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:apandp:v:109:y:2019:p:105-09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.