150-year-old photograph of university's all-male academics retaken for 2020

A 150-year-old photo of a group of male-only professors at Glasgow University has been recreated with the academics being replaced with the institution's female leaders.

The 1870 photograph which reflects the all-male teaching and lecturing staff at Glasgow University. The first female did not graduate from the university for another 24 years. Women did not take up the first teaching post until 1908. PIC: Glasgow University.

A 150-year-old photo of a group of male-only professors at Glasgow University has been recreated with the academics being replaced with the institution's female leaders.

The historic image has been reworked to coincide with International Women's Day and reflect the changes to the diversity of the workforce over time.

Sign up to our History and Heritage newsletter

Sign up to our History and Heritage newsletter

The original photo dates to 1870 when the University relocated from High Street to its home in the west end of Glasgow.

The image recreated with a selection of the 200 or so female senior leaders and staff at the university. PIC: Glasgow University.

Read More

Read More
Scotland’s pioneering women who broke new ground in the mountains

At that time, University records show that all the academics were men including its senior leaders, made up of 26 professors.

The new 2020 digital version features a cross-section of the 200 or so women professors and senior professional services staff employed at the university today.

Professor Jill Morrison, Clerk of Senate and Vice-Principal, who is the University’s Gender Equality Champion, said: “Over the 150 years we have been at our current campus in Glasgow’s west end there have been huge changes in the size and make-up of our staff and student body.

"To mark this important 150th anniversary, it was felt it was right to offer a new moment in time in the University’s 569-year history.

“On the occasion of the first image being created, there were no women leaders, academics or students at the University. We felt it was important to reflect how far we, as an institution, have come, while also acknowledging that we still have a way to go on our journey to gender equality.

“I hope that this photo will inform discussions and reflection on gender equality both on International Women’s Day and throughout the year.”

Nearly 60 of the more than 200 senior woman joined Professor Morrison and Professor Dee Heddon in the 21st century digital recreation.

Professor Heddon, James Arnott Chair in Drama based at the University’s College of Arts, who along with Professor Morrison led on the photo recreation idea, said: “At the end of last year, the University repainted the Lion & Unicorn staircase. To mark that occasion, the black and white photo taken on the staircase in 1870 was published on Twitter.

“Many of my female colleagues remarked that it would be good to create a new photo for the 21st century. What better opportunity than the 150-year anniversary of the move to Gilmorehill and International Women's Day 2020?

“Today, we celebrate our female colleagues' achievements and acknowledge where we are now and where we still need to get to in terms of equality.”

It was not until 1908 that the first women teaching staff members – Janet Spens and Agnes Picken – were appointed.

In 1919, Theodora Keith became the University's first woman lecturer.

Today at the University of Glasgow, 31.3% senior leaders – professors and senior professional services leads – are woman.

Half of the 14 people who sit on the University’s Senior Management are women and nearly 60% of more than 30,000 students at the University are female.