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Exploring gender imbalance in the tech sector: the male perspective

   School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

  Prof Sally Smith, Dr Colin Smith  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Gender imbalance in academic disciplines (eg nursing, computing and engineering) can serve to deter certain under-represented groups from participating. This can lead to a narrative of exclusion, with many studies designed to explore the impact of exclusion and the barriers faced at stages including school, college/ university and at work. Unfortunately imbalance remains. This study would seek to understand the impact of study subject/ workplace imbalance on the over-represented group, with a view to unearthing new approaches to addressing unequal access to certain careers, while recognising and revealing the underlying structures that affect agency.

Diversity has long been recognised as beneficial to workplaces and the overarching aim of this study is to develop a deeper understanding and new knowledge relating to equity, diversity and inclusion. The participants would be drawn from those studying computing and engineering at university or college, particularly those with placement experience, Graduate Apprentices and their employers.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Supervisor before submitting their applications. Applications should make it clear the project you are applying for and the name of the supervisors.

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in education or social science with a good fundamental knowledge of gender studies.

English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:

  • Experience of fundamental qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Competent in data collection and analysis
  • Knowledge of research methods
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
  • Good time management

Desirable attributes:

  • An interest in social justice

For enquiries about the content of the project, please email Professor Sally Smith

For information about how to apply, please visit our website

To apply, please select the link for the PhD Computing FT application form


K. Barg, "Educational choice and cultural capital: examining social stratification within an institutionalized dialogue between family and school," Sociology, vol. 49, no. 6, pp. 1113-1132, 2015.
Smith, S., Taylor-Smith, E., Fabian, K., Barr, M., Berg, T., Cutting, D., …Zarb, M. (2020). Computing degree apprenticeships: An opportunity to address gender imbalance in the IT sector?. In 2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE). Walby, S. (2011). Is the knowledge society gendered?. Gender, Work & Organization, 18(1), 1-29.
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