This paper fills in a research gap in what concerns gender and academic rank at UK universities, where women are not far from reaching the 50% share of all academic and research staff, but not even close to reaching such a share at (full) professorial level. Using an ordered logit model and the results of a survey conducted in 2013 with 2270 responses from academics from all fields of knowledge at the 24 Russell Group universities, we find three consistent results. First, being a woman has a negative and significant association with academic rank, except for the case when parenthood is timed with career considerations in mind. Second, the percentage of time spent on teaching and teaching-related activities has a negative and statistically significant association with academic rank. This association is more pronounced in the case of women, who spend a higher percentage of their working time on teaching and teaching-related activities than men, as do those in lower academic ranks. Since women tend to be in lower ranks, the percentage of time spent on teaching and teaching-related activities may be considered both a cause and a result of the gender gap. Third, we find a positive and significant association between the number of children under the age of 18 years and the academic rank of both men and women, as long as babies were timed with career considerations in mind, and a non-significant association when they were not. A possible explanation for this is unlikely to be that children have a positive impact on academic rank, but rather that they arrived after a certain rank had been secured. We conclude with some policy recommendations to help reduce the gender gap.
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