an equal opportunities policy for the ibg?

Download An Equal Opportunities Policy for the IBG?

Post on 12-Jan-2017




1 download

Embed Size (px)


  • An Equal Opportunities Policy for the IBG?Author(s): Peter Jackson, Ron Johnston and Susan J. SmithSource: Area, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 279-280Published by: The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)Stable URL: .Accessed: 16/06/2014 10:29

    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

    .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


    The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is collaborating with JSTOR todigitize, preserve and extend access to Area.

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:29:46 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • 279


    An equal opportunities policy for the IBG?

    Peter Jackson, University College, London, Ron Johnston, Sheffield, Susan J Smith, Glasgow In his recent paper, David Sibley proposed a variety of strategies for challenging racism and sexism in geographic practice (Sibley 1987). This short note aims to extend his argument by considering what the IBG itself can achieve through a modest programme of institutional reform.

    Specifically, we would like to propose that the IBG adopt an equal opportunities policy along the lines adopted by other professional organisations including the Geographical Association's recent initiative in the field of anti-racism (Walford 1985). Before considering the details of the proposed policy, it might be worth reviewing the need for such an initiative. The under-representation of women in British geogra phy, particularly in more senior appointments, was first documented some ten years ago (McDowell 1979) and is currently being up-dated. Ethnic minority under representation is even more stark although there are no comparable figures to those on the gender inequality of British geography. By contrast, the Association of American

    Geographers publishes an annual summary of its ethnic composition in the AAG Newsletter indicating the magnitude of under-representation (see Figure 1). Several universities and colleges have already implemented an equal opportunities policy as have both the AUT and NATFHE. On these grounds alone, an IBG initiative is urgently required.

    An equal opportunities policy for the IBG should have the following components: An equal opportunities statement indicating the IBG's commitment to equal oppor

    tunities and its opposition to direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of social class, 'race' or ethnic origin, sex, age, religion, sexual preference and physical/mental disability.

    Figure 1 AAG membership by minority group 1985-7

    Numbers % of membership Category 1985 1986 1987 1985 1986 1987

    American Indian 18 23 25 0 34 0 40 0-44 Asian 215 226 238 4 02 3-97 3 14 Black 63 73 66 1-17 1-28 1 14 Hispanic 39 41 54 0-73 0 72 0 94 Native Alaskan 1 1 1 0-02 0-02 0-02 Pacific Islander 5 6 5 0 09 0 11 0 09 Not classified 5007 5327 5353 93 62 93 50 93-23

    Totals 5348 5697 5742 100 0 100 0 100 0

    Source: AAG Newsletter, 23, 3 (March 1988), based on voluntary replies on application/renewal forms.

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:29:46 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • 280 Observations

    A policy for positive action including, for example monitoring the membership of the IBG and of all appointments to geography

    departments in the UK in terms of gender and ethnic origin; examining the publications of the IBG (including publicity material, journals and

    special publications) to eliminate sexist language and to propose changes in content/ balance (including actively soliciting material from a feminist and/or anti-racist perspective);

    reviewing the internal structure of the IBG (committees, study groups etc.) to consider the need for affirmative action; and

    liasing with other groups who share the IBG's commitment to equal opportunities. Having raised these issues through the pages of Area, we propose to introduce a

    motion at the AGM calling on the IBG to formulate an equal opportunities policy along the lines discussed in this paper. Those members who will be at the meetings in

    Coventry are urged to come to the AGM and support this proposal.

    References McDowell L (1979) ' Women in British geography ' Area 11, 151-54

    Sibley D (1987) ' Racism and sexism in geographic practice ', Area 19, 273

    Walford R (1985) Geographical education for a multi-cultural society (Geographical Association, Sheffield)

    Free use of Nomis in teaching

    The National Online Manpower Information System (NOMIS) is a major source of official small area statistical data in the United Kingdom. It contains over 9 billion items of data on employment and unemployment, job vacancies and placings, population statistics from the 1981 Population Census, and sub-regional migration records from the National Health Service Cen tral Register. It is widely used by central and local government in the framing of public policy, in

    market research by many top commercial consultancies, and by a growing number of academics. Access is via JANET or modern links and a range of microcomputers can be used to print output locally and interface NOMIS information into micro-based programs.

    To promote the use of NOMIS in academic teaching a free bookable account has been established. This may be booked for periods (normally of one week) to allow users time to acquaint themselves with NOMIS and prepare sample sessions. The NOMIS Project Team will also endeavour to meet special requests which may help in teaching, for example, graphical output or the creation of user-defined areas. In addition to its obvious relevance to courses in economic and social geography, use of NOMIS provides users with ready material for courses on information technology, computer cartography, and general methodology. For further infor

    mation about this bookable account, or about NOMIS in general, please contact: Dr Larry O'Brien, Department of Geography, University of Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE Tel: 091 374 2486 and JANET: GGQ7@ DUR.MTS

    This content downloaded from on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:29:46 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    Article Contentsp. 279p. 280

    Issue Table of ContentsArea, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 209-300Front MatterGuest Editorial: Time for Research [pp. 209-211]Royal Geographical Society Medals and Awards for 1988 [p. 212-212]Redressing the Balance? The Worker Co-operative and Women's Work [pp. 213-219]Urban Geography and the Socialist City [p. 220-220]Social Differentiation in Old Central City Neighbourhoods in Poland [pp. 221-232]'Divide and Rule': The Impress of British Separation Policies [pp. 233-240]Work and Leisure: Exploring a Relationship [pp. 241-252]House Prices and Local Labour Market Performance: An Analysis of Building Society Data for 1985 [pp. 253-263]Some Problems with R&D/SE&T-Based Definitions of High Technology Industry [pp. 265-277]ObservationsAn Equal Opportunities Policy for the IBG? [pp. 279-280]

    Comments: Discussion Arising from Papers in "Area"Redefining Agricultural Geography as the Geography of Food [pp. 281-283]Teaching and Research: Author's Reply to Comments [pp. 283-284]

    Conference ReportsLatin Americanist Geographers at the Frontier [pp. 285-286]Women, Work and Place [pp. 286-287]Women and Geography Study Group Weekend [pp. 287-288]New Agendas in Intergovernmental Decentralisation [pp. 288-289]Cowboys, Cookouts and Canyons [pp. 289-290]

    New Appointments [p. 297-297]Research Grants [pp. 297-299]Errata: Developing Areas Research in British Geography 1982-1987 [p. 300-300]Back Matter