20140903_083442.jpgEarlier this month I attended the 8th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education in Vienna. The timing was perfect as it fell a week before Chwarae Teg launched “A Woman’s Place in Academia”, a benchmarking report that analysed the position of women in leadership within higher education.

The Conference in Vienna reaffirmed that many of the issues we see in Wales and the UK in relation to women in higher education, i.e. being under-represented in senior positions and in STEM subjects, are issues that many countries across Europe and beyond share with us. I was also able to hear about the many different approaches being taken to address the inequalities.

Some focus on supporting women. The New Zealand Women in Leadership programme is a great example of such an approach. Working with both academic and professional/ administrative staff, the programme sees women attend a week long residential course that aims to provide them with the skills and confidence to take the steps into leadership positions.

Other initiatives look to the institutions themselves. Genovate is an example of this. Working with Higher Education Institutions across Europe, the Genovate project supports them to implement Gender Equality Action Plans and encourages gender competent management. Within this project institutions consider gender equality in recruitment, progression and research, the benefits of a work/life responsive workplace and the role of equality and diversity in ensuring excellence in research and innovation.

Some projects have gone even further and brought about structural change within an institution to truly embed gender awareness across all departments. Such an approach has been taken at the University of Cologne in Germany. Here gender equality has prominence at the very top through a Pro-Rectorate for Planning, Finances and Gender who is supported by a Commission for Gender and a Gender Board, which is made up of representatives from across the institution. At an operational level gender equality is also embedded in the University’s structures through a Centre for Gender Quality Management, a dual career and family support scheme and the Centre for Gender Studies. This allows the work of gender equality officers to benefit directly from the research of staff and students within the academic school and by embedding gender equality policies and programmes into the University’s structures it is hoped that they will be more resilient to personnel change.

These projects are just 3 examples of the many programmes and approaches being trialled across Europe and the wider world to tackle a common challenge, that being how we ensure that women have equal opportunities and representation within higher education. We have the levers here in Wales to take innovative and radical steps to achieve this and it’s important that we look to colleagues in other countries to learn from their experiences to ensure that a woman’s place in academia equals that of men.

You can download the findings from our research “A Woman’s Place in Academia” here.

Lle’r Fenyw yn y Byd Academaidd – unioni’r fantol

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Technische Universität Wien Vienna University of Technology

Yn gynharach yn y mis, es i’r 8fed Cynhadledd Ewropeaidd ar Gydraddoldeb Rhywiol mewn Addysg Uwch yn Fienna. Roedd yr amseru’n berffaith gan fod hyn wythnos cyn i Chwarae Teg lansio “Lle’r Fenyw yn y Byd Academaidd”, adroddiad meincnodi sy’n dadansoddi sefyllfa menywod o ran arweinyddiaeth ym maes addysg uwch.

Cadarnhaodd y Gynhadledd yn Fienna bod llawer o’r materion a welwn yng Nghymru a’r DU mewn perthynas â menywod ym maes addysg uwch, h.y. tangynrychiolaeth mewn swyddi uwch ac mewn pynciau STEM, yn faterion sy’n gyffredin i lawer o wledydd ledled Ewrop a thu hwnt. Cefais glywed hefyd am y gwahanol ddulliau sy’n cael eu defnyddio i fynd i’r afael ag anghydraddoldebau.

Mae rhai’n canolbwyntio ar gefnogi menywod. Mae rhaglen Menywod Seland Newydd mewn Arweinyddiaeth yn enghraifft ragorol o ddull o’r fath. Gan weithio gyda staff academaidd a phroffesiynol/gweinyddol, mae menywod yn mynychu cwrs preswyl am wythnos i ddysgu’r sgiliau a magu’r hyder i gamu i swyddi arweinyddiaeth.

Mae mentrau eraill yn edrych ar y sefydliadau eu hunain. Mae Genovate yn enghraifft o hyn. Mae’r prosiect yn gweithio gyda Sefydliadau Addysg Uwch ledled Ewrop i’w helpu i roi Cynlluniau Gweithredu Cydraddoldeb Rhywiol ar waith ac annog rheoli’r rhywiau mewn ffordd gymwys. Yn y prosiect, mae sefydliadau’n ystyried cydraddoldeb rhywiol wrth recriwtio, cynnydd gyrfaol a maes ymchwil, manteision gweithle sy’n ystyried gwaith/bywyd a rôl cydraddoldeb ac amrywiaeth wrth sicrhau rhagoriaeth o ran ymchwil ac arloesedd.

Mae rhai prosiectau wedi mynd gam ymhellach a sicrhau newid strwythurol o fewn sefydliad er mwyn gwreiddio ymwybyddiaeth o rywedd ym mhob adran. Mae Prifysgol Cologne yn yr Almaen wedi mabwysiadu dull fel hyn. Yma, rhoddir amlygrwydd i gydraddoldeb rhywiol ar y lefel uchaf drwy Ddirprwy Reithoriaeth ar gyfer Cynllunio, Cyllid a Rhyw a gefnogir gan Gomisiwn ar gyfer Rhyw a Bwrdd Rhyw, sy’n cynnwys cynrychiolwyr o bob rhan o’r sefydliad. Ar lefel weithredol, mae cydraddoldeb rhywiol wedi’i wreiddio yn strwythurau’r Brifysgol drwy Ganolfan Rheoli Ansawdd Rhyw, cynllun cymorth gyrfa a theulu deublyg a’r Ganolfan ar gyfer Astudiaethau Rhyw. Mae hyn yn galluogi i waith swyddogion cydraddoldeb rhywiol  elwa’n uniongyrchol ar ymchwil staff a myfyrwyr yn yr ysgol academaidd a thrwy wreiddio polisïau a rhaglenni cydraddoldeb rhywiol yn strwythurau’r Brifysgol, gobeithir y byddant yn fwy gwydn yn wyneb newid personél.

Tair enghraifft yn unig yw’r prosiectau hyn o’r rhaglenni a’r dulliau di-ri sy’n cael eu treialu ledled Ewrop a gweddill y byd i fynd i’r afael â her gyffredin, sef sicrhau bod menywod yn cael cyfle cyfartal a chynrychiolaeth ym maes addysg uwch. Mae’r gallu gennym yma yng Nghymru i gymryd camau arloesol a phellgyrhaeddol i gyflawni hyn ac mae’n bwysig ein bod yn dilyn esiampl cydweithwyr mewn gwledydd eraill i ddysgu o’u profiadau i sicrhau bod gan fenywod yr un hawliau â dynion yn y byd academaidd.

Gallwch lawrlwytho canfyddiadau ein hymchwil “Lle’r Fenyw yn y Byd Academaidd” yma.

Jayne Bryant  Grand motherAs part of our work to help commemorate World War One, Chwarae Teg Friend, Jayne Bryant shares with us the story of Bridget Kearney – her great-grandmother. This personal recollection truly helps to show how the War impacted on women and their families.

My great-grandmother, Bridget Kearney, worked in Kynoch’s Explosives Factory in Arklow, County Wicklow during WW1.

Kynoch’s was a private munitions factory and employed several thousand men, women and children during WW1. There were over 400 buildings on site and they produced everything from bullets right up to large missiles.

Bridget told my grandfather that there were periodic explosions at the works. However, at around 3am on September 21st 1917 a massive explosion occurred at Kynoch’s. 27 people died and the explosion was heard up to 8 miles away. If it had happened during the day it is likely that hundreds would have died. An inquiry was set up but there was no definite conclusion about the cause of the explosion. A monument marks the common grave of those who died in the local cemetery.

Bridget was always adamant that my grandfather shouldn’t work down the mines or in any armament factories because of her own experience. She talked of the friends that she had lost during the 1917 explosion and of the poor conditions that she and others experienced in the factory. My grandfather said that she often talked to him about those who were poisoned by toxic fumes causing some to turn yellow in colour (because of the chemical TNT used in the explosives).

Apparently the uniforms that they wore had no pockets in them so that if you smoked you couldn’t keep your cigarettes inside and risk the temptation of lighting one!

Kynoch’s closed their factory in Arklow after the war and moved production to South Africa. This was done because of the increasingly volatile situation in Ireland at the time.

Bridget was born in 1889 in Arklow and came to Glyncorrwg, South Wales in 1922. She had 4 children with her husband William who was a stoker on a ship: Michael (who died as a baby) and Maggie were both born in Ireland and Will (my grandfather) and Ernie who were born in Glyncorrwg.

Bridget died aged 53 in 1942 at home in Glyncorrwg. She had been ironing a shirt for my grandfather to go out after work. Her last words to my grandfather were about her sadness that more men had died that day in WW2 and her deepest sympathies with their mothers.

I wish I had had the opportunity to meet Bridget. My grandfather talked about her often. I wonder what it must have been like and how she felt about being part of a major change in society where women were called to work.

Menywod yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf – Jayne yn rhannu stori ei hen fam-gu.

Fel rhan o’n gwaith i helpu i gofio’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf mae Jane Bryant, un o gyfeillion Chwarae Teg, yn rhannu stori Bridget Kearney â ni, sef ei hen fam-gu. Mae’r atgof personol hwn yn helpu i ddangos sut y bu i’r Rhyfel effeithio ar fenywod a’u teuluoedd.

Yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, roedd Bridget Kearney, fy hen fam-gu, yn gweithio yn Ffatri Ffrwydron Kynoch yn Arklow, Swydd Wicklow.

Roedd Kynoch yn ffatri breifat ar gyfer arfau rhyfel ac roedd yn cyflogi miloedd o ddynion, menywod a phlant yn ystod y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf. Roedd dros 400 o adeiladau ar y safle ac roedden nhw’n cynhyrchu popeth o fwledi i daflegrau enfawr.

Dywedodd Bridget wrth fy nhaid bod ffrwydradau o dro i dro yn y gweithfeydd. Fodd bynnag, tua 3am ar 1 Medi 1917 bu ffrwydrad anferth yn ffatri Kynoch. Bu farw 27 o bobl ac roedd y ffrwydrad i’w glywed hyd at 8 milltir i ffwrdd. Petai wedi digwydd yn ystod y dydd, mae’n debygol y byddai cannoedd wedi marw. Sefydlwyd ymchwiliad ond ni ddaethpwyd i unrhyw gasgliad pendant ynglŷn ag achos y ffrwydrad. Mae cofeb yn y fynwent leol yn nodi bedd cyffredin y rhai a fu farw.

Roedd Bridget bob amser yn mynnu na ddylai fy nhaid weithio i lawr yn y mwynfeydd neu mewn unrhyw ffatri arfau oherwydd ei phrofiad personol. Byddai’n sôn am y ffrindiau a gollodd yn ystod ffrwydrad 1917 ac am yr amodau gwael yr oedd hi ac eraill wedi’u dioddef yn y ffatri. Byddai fy nhad-cu yn dweud ei bod yn sôn llawer wrtho am y rhai a gafodd eu gwenwyno gan fygdarth gwenwynig gan beri i liw croen rhai ohonyn nhw droi’n felyn (oherwydd y cemegyn TNT a ddefnyddiwyd yn y ffrwydron).

Mae’n debyg nad oedd pocedi yn yr iwnifform yr oedden nhw’n ei wisgo fel nad oedd modd cadw sigaréts a fyddai’n berygl o greu temtasiwn i’w cynnau!

Cafodd ffatri Kynoch yn Arklow ei chau ar ôl y rhyfel a symudwyd y gwaith cynhyrchu i Dde Affrica. Penderfynwyd ar y cam hwn oherwydd y sefyllfa ymfflamychol gynyddol yn Iwerddon ar y pryd.

Ganed Bridget ym 1889 yn Arklow a daeth i Glyncorrwg, yn y De ym 1922. Roedd ganddi hi a’i gŵr William, a oedd yn gweithio ar y llongau fel taniwr, 4 o blant: ganed Michael (a fu farw’n faban) a Maggie yn Iwerddon a ganed Will (fy nhad-cu) ac Ernie yng Nglyncorrwg.

Bu farw Bridget yn ei chartref yng Nglyncorrwg ym 1942 yn 53 oed. Roedd wedi bod yn smwddio crys i’m tad-cu i’w wisgo i fynd allan ar ôl ei waith. Ei geiriau olaf i’m tad-cu oedd ei thristwch bod mwy o ddynion wedi marw’r diwrnod hwnnw yn yr Ail Ryfel Byd a’i bod yn cydymdeimlo’n ddwys â’u mamau.

Byddwn wedi hoffi cael y cyfle i gyfarfod â Bridget. Roedd fy nhad-cu yn sôn amdani’n aml. Rwy’n ceisio dychmygu sut brofiad oedd e a sut roedd hi’n teimlo am fod yn rhan o newid mor sylweddol mewn cymdeithas lle’r oedd menywod yn cael eu galw i fynd i weithio.

 

Women_police_outside_their_barracks_-_Ministry_of_Information_First_World_War_Official_Collection_Q30578

Photograph courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

The First World War and the lasting impact that it had on women and their role in British society has been the subject of much historical analysis and debate, with two main schools of thought developing.

One suggests that the war was a “watershed of social change” that had a dramatic and beneficial impact on women’s lives, opening up new opportunities. (Noakes, 2007) The other is more cautious and argues that the impact of the war on women and gender roles was limited and temporary, overshadowed by a backlash against women in the post-war years.

There were certainly some gains for women in terms of their position in society. Women over 30 gained the vote in 1918 under the Representation of the People Act, in 1919 the Sex Disqualification Act made it illegal to exclude women from jobs because of their gender. The war had allowed women to prove themselves capable in the workplace, particularly in food production with many farmers wanting to keep women on. And some new opportunities for employment opened up in light engineering, retail and office work.

However, these gains were accompanied by a number of losses. As Britain strived to return to normality the desire for many women to continue working in non-traditional roles was a stark reminder of a conflict most wanted to forget. As a result women were demonised for wanting to keep their higher paid jobs and often portrayed as taking jobs away from returning war veterans. In 1919 the Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act ordered women to leave their wartime jobs to make way for returning men. This had a noticeable impact on the number of women in work and by 1921 the percentage of women in the labour force was 21%, lower than in 1911. By 1931 women’s weekly wages had returned to the pre-war rates at half that of men.

What seems clear is that the post-war situation was complex and placed women in a unique position. The war had allowed them to prove that they were capable of doing many of the jobs traditionally carried out by men and had given them a taste of the independence and financial freedom that such higher paid jobs could offer. Yet culturally Britain was not ready to accept this new role for women.

The war was certainly a defining moment for women, opening the door to new opportunities and allowing them to challenge traditional ideas about men and women’s position in society and the workplace.

Tackling these perceptions continues to be a key element in the fight to close the gender pay gap. Many of the jobs taken on by women during the war were in what we would consider the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) sector, an area where women continue to be under-represented even today. 100 years on from the start of the First World War it’s important that we commemorate the part that women played in Britain’s war effort. What better way than to finally put an end to the negative impact that traditional ideas about women’s role has on their position in the workplace and the home and to secure an equal place for women in the sectors, such as STEM, where they remain noticeably absent.

References

Lucy Noakes, 2007 “Demobilising the Military woman

Lle’r Fenyw yn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf – Trobwynt i newid cymdeithasol?

Bu dadansoddi a thrin a thrafod brwd am y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf a’i effaith hirhoedlog ar fenywod a’u rôl yng nghymdeithas Prydain, a datblygodd dwy brif ffordd o feddwl am hyn.

Yn ôl un garfan, roedd y rhyfel yn drobwynt i newid cymdeithasol a chafodd effaith ddramatig a buddiol ar fywydau menywod, gan agor drysau i gyfleoedd newydd. (Noakes, 2007) Mae’r garfan arall yn fwy gofalus, ac yn dadlau mai effaith dros dro a chyfyngedig a gafwyd ar fenywod ac ar rolau’r ddau ryw, gyda’r ymateb chwyrn yn erbyn menywod yn y blynyddoedd wedi’r rhyfel yn taflu cysgod dros y cyfan.

Yn ddi-os, gwelwyd lle’r fenyw mewn cymdeithas yn datblygu er gwell mewn rhai ffyrdd. Ym 1918 o dan Ddeddf Cynrychiolaeth y Bobl, rhoddwyd y bleidlais i fenywod dros 30, ac ym 1919 gwnaeth y Ddeddf Gwaharddiadau hi’n anghyfreithlon i rwystro menywod rhag gwneud swyddi ar sail eu rhyw. Roedd y rhyfel wedi caniatáu i fenywod brofi eu bod yn abl yn y gweithle, yn enwedig ym maes cynhyrchu bwyd, ac roedd llawer o ffermwyr am barhau i gyflogi’r menywod hynny. A chododd rhai cyfleoedd gwaith newydd ym maes peirianneg ysgafn, ym myd manwerthu a gwaith swyddfa.

Serch hynny, law yn llaw â’r camau cadarnhaol hyn gwelwyd nifer o gamau negyddol hefyd. Wrth i Brydain geisio ail-afael mewn normalrwydd, roedd ysfa llawer o fenywod i barhau i weithio mewn rolau anhraddodiadol yn atgof cryf o’r rhyfel yr oedd y mwyafrif am ei anghofio. O ganlyniad, roedd menywod dan y lach am fod eisiau cadw’u swyddi â chyflogau uwch ac yn aml byddent yn cael eu portreadu fel rhai a oedd yn dwyn swyddi’r milwyr a ddychwelodd o’r ffrynt. Ym 1919, gorchmynnodd Deddf Adfer Arferion Cyn-Rhyfel (the Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act) fenywod i ildio’u swyddi amser rhyfel i’r dynion a oedd yn dychwelyd o’r rhyfel. Cafodd hyn effaith amlwg ar nifer y menywod mewn gwaith ac erbyn 1921 21% oedd canran y menywod yn y gweithlu, a oedd yn is nag ym 1911. Erbyn 1931, roedd cyflogau menywod wedi disgyn yn ôl i’w cyfraddau cyn-rhyfel, sef hanner cyflogau’r dynion.

Mae’n amlwg bod y sefyllfa wedi’r rhyfel yn un gymhleth a’i bod wedi gosod menywod mewn sefyllfa unigryw. Roedd y rhyfel wedi caniatáu iddyn nhw brofi eu bod yn abl i wneud y rhan fwyaf o’r swyddi yr oedd dynion yn draddodiadol yn eu gwneud ac roedd wedi rhoi blas iddyn nhw ar yr annibyniaeth a’r rhyddid ariannol a oedd yn dod gyda swyddi a oedd yn talu cyflogau uwch. Ac eto, yn ddiwylliannol, doedd Prydain ddim yn barod i dderbyn y rôl newydd hon ar gyfer menywod.

Heb os, roedd y rhyfel yn drobwynt yn hanes menywod, ac agorodd y drws i gyfleoedd newydd, gan ganiatáu iddyn nhw herio syniadau traddodiadol am safle dynion a menywod mewn cymdeithas ac yn y gweithle.

Mae mynd i’r afael â’r syniadau hyn yn parhau i fod yn elen allweddol o’r ymdrech i gau’r bwlch cyflog rhwng y rhywiau. Erbyn heddiw, byddem yn ystyried llawer o’r swyddi a oedd yn cael eu gwneud gan fenywod yn ystod cyfnod y rhyfel fel rhai yn y sector STEM (gwyddoniaeth, technoleg, peirianneg a mathemateg), sef sector lle mae prinder menywod yn parhau hyd yn oed heddiw. Wrth nodi canmlwyddiant dechrau’r Rhyfel Mawr, mae’n bwysig ein bod yn cofio cyfraniad menywod at ymdrechion rhyfel Prydain. Pa ffordd well o wneud hyn na thrwy roi stop unwaith ac am byth ar yr effaith negyddol y mae syniadau traddodiadol am rôl menywod yn ei chael ar eu safle yn y gweithle ac yn y cartref, a sicrhau lle cyfartal i fenywod yn y sectorau, megis STEM, lle maen nhw’n parhau’n amlwg o absennol.

Cyfeiriadau

Lucy Noakes, 2007 “Demobilising the Military Woman”

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