I’ve been working on this on and off since the end of last year and, along with my cohorts at BWA, have this new survey that we would very much appreciate you completing. We had such amazing data from our 2008 survey that we wanted to revisit this – which was always the plan – to see if things have changed. It is a little different although mostly this was to iron out the difficulties in interpreting the first questionnaire.
2008 was a different place in terms of both speaking out about equality, discrimination and sexuality, but also in technical terms. Our first survey was a Word doc, and participants either completed it online, emailed it to us and trusted we would delete their email addresses to keep it anonymous (I did this personally), or printed it off and posted it to me. Consequently the responses we had, while just under 100, were much more effort for you to complete (and for us to analyse the data!) than this method. This should be far easier all round and I hope we will get many more responses. While this survey is anonymous, the survey will log your IP address.
Finally I (Anne Teather) have to take the lion’s share of responsibility for this. Social media including facebook and Twitter provide fast and open spaces for comment and I hope all will see the benefit of our work here and your contributions. But if anyone does have a problem or question, it is my responsibility alone for finalising and publishing this survey. I welcome comments either on here, our facebook page or email me directly using firstname.lastname@example.org. The more quickly I’m notified of issues, the more quickly I can act.
That said, I know how valuable this kind of survey is in generating important data for us – that includes other groups such as the CIfA’s Equality and Diversity Interest Group, and Trowelblazers (both of whom we work with closely). We all want to hear from you and hope very much you will take the time to complete it.
I have just uploaded a copy of the questionnaire we used in 2008 and the results we generated from this! However I just posted the links (DOI’s) and they don’t seem to be working – I’ll get onto it tomorrow!
We’re happy for you to use this information but please just cite us and the DOI so other people can access the research.
There is a new survey based on this coming next week (I’m away for a few days and want to be around when it goes live!). I hope you will take the time to complete the new one, it will be good to get comparable data eight years down the line.
I was really delighted by the response to my post on mentoring last week. Over 100 people have read that post with around 70 of them doing so just after it was posted.
It also sparked some great feedback on Facebook. There was a discussion of how mentoring and patronage might be different things (or not?) and highlighted that perhaps this is a bit tough to disentangle. Maybe the question is what do we want from mentoring rather than are we ready for it? Have a look yourself and contribute 🙂
This was the original post:
I was involved in a fascinating Twitter tweep?/chat? today with many women I have been discussing gender related issues with over the years. My feed is open here https://twitter.com/pre_historic?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author and I don’t mind if you have a look!
The question was – how far is mentoring helpful for female academic early career archaeologists? And the answer seems to be (with the caveat not always. But why should that be the case?
When we first set up the BWA in 2008, we tried to implement a mentoring support network, and failed. Partly it was due to a complete absence of (and I mean absolutely no) women who wanted to be mentored. We had offers of mentors but much to my embarrassment, no women wanted to volunteer as mentees.
Also, over the last couple of years I’ve been involved with the DCMS events supporting women in the sector. And more chatting there ( suggests that women don’t want to be mentored formally. The issues are twofold – most women who engage with this want the most important women mentors – the most successful and powerful. Those women are inundated by requests and can feel ‘used’ – that they are simply performing an introduction service! Secondly, women don’t want to engage in a ‘matching’ of mentor/mentee. It feels like a bad speed date. So they tend to shy away. It appears both to represent a weakness of character on one hand, and an indulgence of ‘I need help with my career’ on the other. This is all a shame, and the implementation of mentoring networks is not either a stigma or an advantage; it’s just simply to address the lack of equality in the workplace, giving space for anyone to think actively about their career. Peer mentoring was mentioned today as being particularly effective in a sense of again. I have always been astounded that my friends will absolutely not let me fail, even when a time-poor single-parent PhD with no money, and even when I wail as impressively as I can! It’s a wonderful support and endorsement.
So tonight I leave you with two things – the report from the Women’s Business Council https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/456420/DfE_WBC_Two_years_on_report_update_AW_CC.pdf about the importance to the economy of women’s equality; and Hannah Cobb’s tweet about a new mentoring network https://twitter.com/ArchaeoCobb/with_replies . Have we moved on since 2008? Are women ready to manage their careers like they manage their reading lists/work clothes/other halves? Let’s see…….
Hello and welcome! This is the blog for British Women Archaeologists – you don’t have to be British, a woman, or archaeologist to join in!
We created the BWA as a networking platform and since 2008 we have sometimes issued newsletters, completed some research and given talks on our work. Due to our website forum being a bit clunky, it was suggested we might be able to use a blog to better use. So here it is 🙂
The plan is I will add on our archive over the next few weeks and we’ll do some posts at some point. We talk about equality and gender stuff mostly but we also like to cheer on great work in the field (and not just literally in the field!).
Also if you’re here and you haven’t checked out trowelblazers, you really must do that next