Today (February 4) sees the launch of Black Sister Network – a dedicated network within Black British Academics exclusively for black and minority ethnic women.
It has been developed by Dr Deborah Gabriel, Founder and CEO of Black British Academics in response to the continued marginalisation of women of colour in academia.
While measures to address gendered inequalities have achieved a measure of success for white women, these have failed to tackle the combined impact of race, gender and class.
For example, although there are just 85 black professors in the UK out of 18,510 only 15 are women (2011/12 HESA record based on the full person equivalent and using their standard rounding methodology).
Black Sister Network aims to promote self-empowerment for black and minority ethnic women in academia through collective activism that will feed into the wider strategies of Black British Academics to tackle racial inequalities in the higher education sector.
Black Sister Network will also be developing a unique body of research through its membership to inform race equality policy and practice.
Commenting on the launch of Black Sister Network, Dr Gabriel said:
“We recognise that black and minority ethnic women experience multiple forms of discrimination that hinders their progression within academia but this fact has either escaped the attention of those who lead the race equality agenda or has been deliberately ignored.
“Black Sister Network has been launched with the dual purpose of providing a mutually supportive space and providing a position of strength and solidarity from which to drive forward equality and progression.”