Breaking the bias for women in academia

Our global survey shows women face significant challenges when it comes to gender equality

For International Women’s Day 2022, we’re sharing personal stories of the experience of bias academics have faced.

We asked our academic community to share their view in February and over 400 people from all regions of the world got in touch – here are the results (416 responses from our survey, February 2022).

57% of female academics have been discriminated against because of their gender
4x as many female academics as male have been discriminated against because of their gender
44% of female academics compared to 11% of males feel they have been held back from progressing professionally because of their perceived gender


Where in the world is bias most prevalent?

In a professional setting, have you ever felt you have been discriminated against because of your perceived gender? (Female & male respondents combined.)
51% Americas
49% Europe
27% Middle East & Africa
21% Asia


I’m of an age that treated women as second class and considered it normal. I have been the token women many times


During my first job interview after graduation, the depressing question came: So you are a fresh graduate who is also newly married? Do you not see that you are likely to be on maternity leave soon?


Everything is behind the scenes. One cannot clearly identify bias.  It is just evident to all concerned


How can we make change happen?

Whose responsibility do you think it is to make changes to improve diversity and get rid of bias in academia? (female respondents)

80% Universities & academic institutions
46% Editorial boards
43% Publishers
46% of female academics feel it's the responsibility of editorial boards to improve diversity and prevent bias in academia



25% of female academics feel editorial boards are biased or very biased, vs 9% male
16% of female academics say peer review is biased or very biased than male academic vs 4% male


Are publishers doing enough to help female researchers publish and prevent gender bias?

14% Yes
24% No
61% Unsure

The majority of females surveyed (61%) are unsure what publishers are doing to help female researchers publish which is why Emerald is making a public commitment and revealing their commitments.

Find out more



Emerald is committing to equal representation on all its editorial boards by 2030, or sooner if possible.