2008 Survey

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Teather, A and Pope, R.  2008. British Women Archaeologists’ 2008 Survey Questions

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British Women Archaeologists

2008 Survey


At present there is no national organisation that deals exclusively with the unique challenges and problems that face women working and studying in British Archaeology. This survey aims to collect information regarding the requirements or wishes for such a group. It will ask questions about the experience of archaeologists, and hopes to gain an appreciation of the most pressing issues to face women in modern archaeology. We would also like to encourage the participation of women and men in the formation process in order for BWA to be as relevant and beneficial as possible to those it is trying to assist.


The role of men in the elevation of women to equal status is debated widely within the feminist and women’s movements. Opinions differ greatly as to the extent and type of involvement that men should have in the process. This survey is aimed primarily at getting to grips with the experience of women archaeologists. However, the perspective and opinions of male archaeologists are also greatly valued and actively encouraged. This is reflected in the wording of the survey questions that allow for female or male participants to answer.


The questionnaire should take less than half an hour and is anonymous. The answers will be used to provide an indication of the current status and attitudes of archaeologists at all levels of employment or study. The results will be available through womeninarchaeology@hotmail.com and will also be posted on our website when they have been collated. You can use the link to the form and email it to the above email address or post it to XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX to ensure anonymity, although please be assured any email responses will be treated with integrity. Questionnaires will be separated from forwarding mail addresses on receipt.


If you have particular concerns and would like assistance, please feel able to email me directly. Following this if you need any specialist help we will assist in finding this for you.




Section 1 – About you



Q1.1    Please state your age and number of years in archaeology.






Q1.2    What type of work do you currently undertake?


o     Student (undergraduate)

o     Student (postgraduate)

o     Commercial archaeologist

o     Specialist working in commercial archaeology

o     Academic staff/researcher

o     Other (please state)



Q1.3    Are you:


o     Female

o     Male


Q1.4   Were you employed at the same rate as your other-sex peers?


o     Yes

o     No


Q1.5   Do you think that your sex has had an impact on promotion?

o     Yes

o     No


Q1.6  If you answered yes, please give details below.


Section 2 – Education


Q2.1    Thinking about education: were you taught to use gender neutral language when studying? (for example to use ‘human’ or ‘people’ instead of ‘man’ etc.)


o     Yes

o     No


Q2.2    If you were not taught to use gender neutral language, do you feel that you should have been?


o     Yes

o     No



Q2.3     If you answered No to the above, could you please expand on your reasons below.







Q2.4    As a student, did women occupy influential positions in your department?


o     Yes

o     No

o     Some


Q2.5   As a student, did you feel you had a female role model within your department?



o     Yes

o     No


Q2.6    Did you feel that the female archaeologists within your department were as supportive, less supportive or more supportive than their male counterparts?


o     More supportive

o     About the same

o     No, not as supportive



Q2.7    In your opinion, are women academic archaeologists more or less competitive than their male counterparts?


o     Yes, more competitive

o     No, less competitive

o     About the same




Section 3 – Your experiences



Q3.1    Whether directly or by implication, have you ever been told that you are unable to be a good archaeologist because of your sex?


o     Yes

o     No

o     I’m not sure




Q3.2    If yes, or unsure, and you feel comfortable please tell us about the experience (avoid using specific names or institutions)








Q3.3    Do you know women archaeologists who have had experiences similar to that outlined in question 3.1?


o     Yes

o     No


Q3.4    Did the experiences discussed above happen recently (please choose one for each instance outlined)?


o     During 2008

o     Within the past 2 years

o     2-5 years

o     6-9 years

o     10-20 years

o     More than 20 years ago.


Q3.5    Whether you have had direct experience or not, how do you feel about this kind of situation occurring within archaeology?














Q3.6    Do you believe that your sex has had an effect on your normal daily activities at work or while studying?


o     Yes

o     No



Q3.7    If yes how?







Q3.8    Has this had a detrimental or positive effect on your career?


o     Detrimental

o     Positive

o     I’m not sure



Q3.9    Are you expected to do certain types of work that your colleagues/peers of the other sex do not complete or that they do less often?


o     Yes, I am required to do certain jobs that my male/female colleagues are not expected to do.

o     Yes, I do jobs that my male/female colleagues don’t do, but this isn’t an explicit requirement more a feeling of obligation.

o     No, there are no jobs that I feel I do that wouldn’t be undertaken by a male/female colleague



Section 4. Other commitments



The issue of work/life balance has been hotly debated in the media recently. This section will ask you questions about how (or if) you think your sex affects your career and private life.



Q4.1    Do you feel that you have (or are able to have) a career in archaeology as well as the family life you would like?


o     Yes

o     No






Q4.2    Do you feel that at some point you will have to choose between fulfilling your career ambitions and raising a family?


o     Yes

o     No


Q4.3    In the past, have you found it necessary to choose between having children and continuing your career?


o     Yes

o     No


Q4.4    If you perceive problems in this balance or have experiences of this issue, please help us by expanding further. What obstacles do you see ahead of you, or you have encountered, which mean this is so? Are they practical (expectation to travel, long hours, requiring specialist equipment), or other issues (working mothers not being seen as dedicated as men, perhaps being more criticised for taking time off to care for sick children/school holidays etc)?







Q4.5    Do you think that this situation is more commonly faced by women than men?


o     Yes, it is much more commonly faced by women.

o     It is faced more commonly by women, but also by men.

o     It is faced by both women and men equally.

o     It is faced more commonly by men, but also by women.

o     I don’t think that this is faced by either women or men.



Q4.6    In your experience is there enough part-time employment in archaeology?


o     Yes, I wanted part-time work and found it easily

o     Just enough: I wanted part-time work and found it, after a struggle

o     No, I’d prefer to work part-time but have been unable to find suitable work

o     I don’t know: I’ve never attempted to get part-time work






Section 5. About the establishment of British Women Archaeologists



Q5.1    Do you think that a women’s group would be of benefit to you?


o     Yes

o     No


Q5.2    If one were founded, what would you like their activities/objectives to be?










Q5.3    In your opinion, do you feel that women’s interests in archaeology would be better served by a women-only organisation or should men be encouraged to participate too?


o     Women Only

o     Women and Men



Q5.4    If possible please elaborate on why you think that it should be women only or mixed.

Q5.5    Irrespective of your answer to the previous question do you feel that a women-only discussion forum would encourage women to voice their concerns and talk about difficult experiences?


o     Yes

o     No




Q5.6    Do you have any other comments or suggestions about the issues discussed in this survey?



We appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey. Every one will make a difference.