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Jindal: World’s first law school to have more women than men teachers, highlights ‘embarrassing’ global gender balance in academia [Spoiler: It’s not the first]

The face of global legal education: A man's world?
The face of global legal education: A man's world?

Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) Sonepat now has more women in its faculty than men, after a consistently implemented diversity strategy, claiming to be a more gender-equal law school than any other.

Out of JGLS’ 86 full-time faculty members, 45 are now women, making up 52 per cent of totals. The figures exclude visiting faculty and honorary professors, but include research associates who must all have LLM qualifications and are allowed to teach under Bar Council of India (BCI) norms.

By contrast, according to the data collected by JGLS from the websites of NLSIU Bangalore, Nalsar Hyderabad and NUJS Kolkata as broadly confirmed by Legally India, only 25 per cent of faculty are women at most.

Update: Amity Law School Delhi appears to have 22 female faculty as against 13 men, according to its website. ILS Pune also appears to have more women than men in its teaching faculty of 15, according to its website. Army Institute of Law Mohali also has more women than men in its faculty.

JGLS dean Prof Raj Kumar told Legally India that getting to this gender ratio around two months ago was the result of a “very serious effort at diversifying” to ensure that new hires would be made in a fair gender ratio, while nevertheless only recruiting “women who are highly qualified and have distinguished qualifications”.

Global problem

The situation is similar abroad, according to data collected by JGLS from the websites of top foreign law schools, where only between 20 and 40 per cent of faculty members are women.

Harvard, Cornell and Yale law schools came in the lowest in the equality stakes with ratios of less than 25 per cent, while UK universities performed better with up to 40 per cent women in Oxford University’s and University College London’s (UCL) law faculties.

Kumar added in a statement: “It is rather unfortunate that universities and law schools around the developed and developing world have performed in an embarrassingly poor manner to ensure faculty diversity and gender balance in their universities and law schools.

“We are very conscious of this disturbing global trend, and more conscious than most reputed law schools in the USA and other countries to ensure better gender balance in our faculty hiring and in all our institution building initiatives. We cannot achieve gender diversity, if we cannot walk the talk about women’s empowerment.”

He said that he was delighted to have achieved this goal within five years of founding the law school.

Furthermore, Kumar added that exactly half of the leadership positions at the college – vice dean, associate dean and some assistant deans – were women, which was also important.

OP Jindal Global University registrar Prof YSR Murthy commented that there was a “need to go beyond tokenism” by entrusting women with “leadership positions”, which is “where many institutions around the world are lacking”.

Photo by Vagawi

Global law school faculty gender ratios

Law Schools ?Total full time faculty as per their website on 18th August 2014 ?Number of female faculty among them ?Percentage women
INDIA      
JGLS Sonepat* 86 45 52%
NLS Bangalore 30 7 23%
Nalsar Hyderabad 38 9 24%
NUJS Kolkata 35 9 25%
USA      
?Harvard Law School

?121

?24

20%

?Yale Law School

?83

19

23%

?Stanford Law School

?86

?25

29%

?Columbia Law School

?91

?29

32%

?Cornell Law School

?53

?11

21%

UK      
?King's College London Faculty of Law

?75

?24

?32%

University of Oxford
Faculty of Law
87 35 40%
University of Cambridge
Faculty of Law
140 41 29%
?University College London Faculty of Law

?40

?16

? 40%

?LSE, Faculty of Law

?62

?23

?37%

Singapore      
?National University of Singapore Faculty of Law

?75

?24

?32%

*Editor’s note: The JGLS website had not yet been updated with new hires at the time of going to press, according to Kumar, reflecting a gender ratio of only 46 per cent women. Data in table supplied by JGLS, and roughly corroborated by Legally India via Indian institutions’ websites.

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