Women in Academia: Achieving Our Potential by Margaret (Mags) C. Watson

Women in AcademiaDid you know that there are considerable gender inequities and inequalities in the academic sector? Irrespective of country or discipline, women in academia typically are less likely to publish or to be cited, funded or promoted, compared with male colleagues. This is not due to women being ineffective or less able, it results from institutional and societal factors that create and perpetuate substantial gender asymmetry in this sector.

Women In Academia is a self-help book the purpose of which is primarily to promote awareness of women in academia to engage with behaviours and activities that contribute to successful academic careers, underpinned by evidence, theory and the experience of 25 international scholars (female and male) from a wide range of disciplines. It is also relevant to individuals and organisations for whom women in academia matters. Tangible lessons in career development are presented using a variety of methods including case studies to provide insight and provoke action, as well as ‘additional resources’ and ‘over to you’ sections that support a workbook approach of ‘how to do academia’.

Released: 28/02/24. Format: Paperback and eBook. ISBN:9781805142508

Buy online at: www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/self-help/women-in-academia or direct from mags@watsonresearchandtraining.co.uk

Available as print-on-demand service from international booksellers.


Since its publication, the book has been well-received by individuals (see Testimonials) and organisations that have hosted and/or commissioned seminars informed by the contents:

  • Robert Gordon University
  • Royal Holloway University
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Bergen


To commission or host a seminar or workshop, contact mags@watsonresearchandtraining.co.uk or 07974 661415.

It’s brilliant. Easy to read and packed full of lots of useful information and suggestions.

Professor Katrina Turner

University of Bristol

Every ECR and PhD student should have a copy to guide, inspire and give them a gentle nudge to keep progressing. Your evidence and case studies have taken off the blinkers. I have achieved more than many others I know. I’ve just not seen it in that light. Thank you for such incredibly actionable advice.

LinkedIn community member

An important book for women who intend or are pursuing a career in Academia. The book is based on 25 interviews with professors and faculties (the vast majority of whom are women) from various universities, half of them based in the UK, but also in North America, Europe, Asia, Middle Eastern countries and Brazil (I was privileged to be the only one interviewed in America Latina) addresses the paths that women can take, the challenges and difficulties encountered along this path and some suggestions on how to approach the academic trajectory considering the family and institutions involved. Women in Academia, for this reason, should also be read by everyone, regardless of gender, who wants to dedicate themselves to an academic career.

The book has scientific foundations, a rich bibliography and a list of programs to help make women’s lives a little bit easier in their academic career, from motherhood to the topic of caring for the elderly (relatives) close to them. The role of the thesis advisor and mentors in general are also analysed and exemplified here. A text that combines the robustness of the research with the fluidity and pleasantness of the writing. It deserves reading!

Professor Sheila Walbe Ornstein

This is not a traditional academic book ..uniquely, it is .. a book with a mission: to enable women to understand the landscape of university careers; to navigate the peaks and troughs better; and to equip them with the appropriate resources.

          It is written for multiple audiences including early and mid-career women as well as spelling out how more senior women (and men) can step up to support and develop other more junior colleagues…sharing “ropes and ladders”!

          There is a deliberate focus on searching for positivity, agency and empowerment in spite of external threats. I found this surprisingly uplifting and strongly recommend reading this book immediately and gifting it to your colleagues, both women and men. It’s like inviting them to have a highbrow conversation about everyday inequalities and to feel hopeful that even through small acts they have the capacity to bring about change in academic women’s lives.

Professor (Emeritus) Lorna McKee