Students rate female lecturers less highly than their male colleagues. Researchers Natascha Wagner, Matthias Rieger and Katherine Voorvelt of the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS, part of Erasmus University) concluded that the difference could only be explained by the fact that they are women.
This difference in rating between men and women was not found in earlier studies. According to the researchers, the earlier studies did not take the fact that men and women teach very different subjects into account.
This problem could be avoided at ISS because of the special way of teaching at the institute. Many subjects at ISS are co-taught, i.e. a male and a female lecturer each handle half of the lectures. Partly because of this way of teaching, the researchers were able to exclude many other factors.
11 percent lower
No significant difference was found in the rating on the basis of ethnicity or the kind of subject being taught, for example. If only gender was considered, however, female lecturers were given a score by students that was 11 percent lower than the score given to male lecturers.
The researchers therefore recommend that gender differences be filtered out of evaluations in the future in order to create fair career opportunities for female lecturers.