Women have always played a prominent role in archaeology (trowelblazers.com/
), and recent research shows that numbers of women in archaeology are increasing – some 46% in 2012‐13 compared to 35% in 1998‐99 (Aitchison and Rocks‐Macqueen 2013, 93‐94). However, these figures mask an imbalance across the profession as a whole. For example more than 70% of archaeologists working for private‐sector organisations are men; on the other hand 67% of those employed in museum and user/visitor services are women. Recent research has identified barriers to women in academic archaeology, which are part of wider issues around gender equality in academia. Some indicators suggest that the problem is a persistent one (Maliniak et al. 2013); Croucher and Cobb (2014) have argued that the notion of the ‘glass ceiling’ is alive and well in British academic archaeology. Looking at the situation in Australia, Smith and Burke (2006) developed a nuanced argument around ‘glass parasols’ – in effect portable glass ceilings carried around by individuals. Others would suggest that there are no such things and the solution is for men and women to get on with it.This session seeks to explore these issues in relation to the professional practice in the UK.