Cover Image

HARDBACK
$48.95



View/Hide Left Panel

Appendix 2-2
Previous Research on Factors Contributing to Gender Differences Among Faculty

This appendix describes research on women in academic science engineering that provided a framework for the development of the 2004 and 2005 faculty and departmental surveys. Drawing primarily on studies conducted by individual institutions and the analyses of individual researchers, the research results suggested several possible reasons why women continued to represent a small segment of faculty—reasons that provided suggestions for survey questions and data needed to assess possible disparities.

TYPES OF RESEARCH

A survey of the literature uncovered many books and articles examining gender in academia, most of which examined gender issues either at the institutional or the individual level. Institutional factors focused on structures, processes, and policies, or the way institutions, departments, and faculty collectively functioned. Individual factors focused on characteristics of faculty members themselves. Many studies focused on one side or the other; fewer attempted to take both elements into account.

Institutional Studies

Individual universities and colleges have often conducted institutional research on salary, climate, or gender equity. One of the more well-known, but certainly not the first, gender equity studies was conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999. In recent years, more and more schools have conducted standalone gender equity reports.1 Such reports typically collect and analyze data from institutional sources, including number of faculty in various departments or schools, disaggregated by gender. Several studies have collected new data by conducting on-campus surveys or focus group meetings on topics such as work/life policies, salary equity, climate, or faculty satisfaction. Interview-based approaches allow for questions to be raised on a wide variety of issues, including perceived treatment of self and colleagues, job satisfaction, and characterization of work activities.

1

Reports for 80 of the 88 Research I institutions were collected and posted to the National Academies’ Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSEM) homepage, located at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/cwse/1gender_faculty_links.html.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 267
Appendix 2-2 Previous Research on Factors Contributing to Gender Differences Among Faculty This appendix describes research on women in academic science engineering that provided a framework for the development of the 2004 and 2005 faculty and departmental surveys. Drawing primarily on studies conducted by individual insti- tutions and the analyses of individual researchers, the research results suggested several possible reasons why women continued to represent a small segment of faculty—reasons that provided suggestions for survey questions and data needed to assess possible disparities. TyPES OF RESEARCH A survey of the literature uncovered many books and articles examining gen- der in academia, most of which examined gender issues either at the institutional or the individual level. Institutional factors focused on structures, processes, and policies, or the way institutions, departments, and faculty collectively functioned. Individual factors focused on characteristics of faculty members themselves. Many studies focused on one side or the other; fewer attempted to take both ele- ments into account. Institutional Studies Individual universities and colleges have often conducted institutional research on salary, climate, or gender equity. One of the more well-known, but certainly not the first, gender equity studies was conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999. In recent years, more and more schools have conducted standalone gender equity reports.1 Such reports typically col- lect and analyze data from institutional sources, including number of faculty in various departments or schools, disaggregated by gender. Several studies have collected new data by conducting on-campus surveys or focus group meetings on topics such as work/life policies, salary equity, climate, or faculty satisfaction. Interview-based approaches allow for questions to be raised on a wide variety of issues, including perceived treatment of self and colleagues, job satisfaction, and characterization of work activities. 1 Reports for 80 of the 88 Research I institutions were collected and posted to the National Acad - emies’ Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSEM) homepage, located at http:// www7.nationalacademies.org/cwse/1gender_faculty_links.html. 

OCR for page 267
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS Studies by Individual Researchers Many scholars and researchers have carried out studies either using some of the national data sets or by collecting new information from surveys of faculty. As of 2004, there was a rich body of literature comparing various outcomes in the academic workforce by gender, focusing on a variety of factors: • Salary (e.g., Barbezat, 2002; Becker and Toutkoushian, 2003; Ginther, 2001; and Perna, 2003c), • Supplemental earnings (e.g., Perna, 2002), • Job satisfaction (e.g., August and Waltman, 2004; Hagedorn et al., 1999; Olsen et al., 1995), • Productivity (e.g., Porter and Umbach, 2001; Sax et al., 2002), • The probability of being in a tenure-track position (e.g., NRC, 2001a; NSF, 2004d; Olson, 2002) • The probability of having tenure (e.g., Ahern and Scott, 1981; Benedict and Wilder, 1999; NRC, 2001a; Perna, 2001a), • The probability of being an assistant or associate or full professor (e.g., NRC, 2001a; NSF, 2004d; Olson, 2002; Ransom and Megdal, 1993), • The probability of being granted tenure (e.g., Kahn, 1993), • The probability of being granted a promotion (e.g., Ahern and Scott, 1981; Ginther, 2001), • Time to promotion (e.g., Ginther, 2001), • Work activities, that is, time spent on research, teaching, and service (e.g., Ahern and Scott, 1981), • Perceptions of (in)equality (e.g., Robst et al., 1998), and • The likelihood of being retained or of leaving a faculty position (e.g., Rosser, 2004; Zhou and Volkwein, 2004). A 2003 literature review conducted by the National Science Foundation noted 15 studies on gender differences in rank and tenure and identified 13 stud- ies focusing on gender differences in earnings in nationwide samples as well as several more studies employing a single-institution sample. Barbezat’s (2002) “History of Pay Equity Studies” is another noteworthy review, which surveyed a number of studies on pay issues. A number of scholars used the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) to study gender differences (Ahern and Scott, 1981; Farber, 1977; Ginther, 2001; Kulis et al., 2002; NRC, 2001a; Olson, 2002) while other scholars employed data from the National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty (Bradburn et al., 2002; Glover and Parsad, 2002; Nettles et al., 2000; Perna, 2001c; and Toutkoushian, 1998a and b). Examples of studies relying on original data collection include a study undertaken by Nelson and Rogers (2005), which looked at the number of male

OCR for page 267
 APPENDIXES and female faculty members, by rank, at “top 50” departments in several fields. Several scholars turned to their own or a selection of institutions and collected data from institutional research offices, focus groups, or surveys to study this issue (e.g., Montelone et al., 2003; Nerad and Cerny, 1999a; Rosser, 2004; Trower and Bleak, 2004). Limitations of Cross-Sectional Data Sources Four major limitations to these types of cross-sectional data sources should be noted. First, although the academic career pathway is a longitudinal process, much of the data available cannot follow the same individual over a long period of time. Some faculty are surveyed in more than one SDR, but the SDR is not a panel study, even though it is longitudinal in its tracking of cohorts. For university studies, it is also possible that faculty would be in more than one survey. Lon- gitudinal data that cover most of an individual faculty member’s career are rare; the most consistently available data are snapshots of faculty at different points in their careers, taken at the time of the survey.2 Large gaps exist between the time periods selected for data collection. While some data collection occurs annually, such as salary surveys conducted by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) or the American Chemi- cal Society’s (ACS’s) survey of top 50 chemistry departments, most of the data available are not collected annually. Many university gender equity studies appear to be one-time events. The SDR is biennial.3 The NSOPF has been conducted every 5 years since 1988, most recently in 2004.4 Second, the data may be biased or certain data points omitted. Doctoral graduates, for example, who fail to be hired and faculty who leave a university before or after tenure or promotion are less likely to be surveyed. The faculty who leave may exhibit different characteristics than the faculty who stay. As a result, analysis is likely to be restricted to the population of faculty who may be termed “successful” but does not represent all faculty. And it does not allow us to address other critical factors playing a significant role in determining the career paths of men and women in academia. Also, as these survey results are self-reported, data on productivity and job satisfaction may be biased, or faculty may simply misre- member specific quantitative information from earlier stages of their career. Third, comparability across studies is a major limiting factor, both in com- paring surveys from the same series undertaken in different years and comparing 2 This is part of the reason why most of the statistical analyses carried out use regression. A few scholars have used event history or hazard models. See for example Weiss and Lillard (1982), Kahn (1993), and Ginther (2001). See Allison (1984) for an introductory description of the methodology. 3 Conducted on odd numbered years until 2003, thereafter on even numbered years, beginning in 2006. 4 The National Center for Education Statistics also conducted a survey of department chairs during the 1988 NSOPF, but the chairs survey was only done this one time.

OCR for page 267
0 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS different surveys. In the case of the SDR and NSOPF, both of which have been car- ried out multiple times, the questions, how the survey is implemented, the sample size, and the response rate may all change. The NSF notes regarding the SDR: There have been a number of changes in the definition of the population surveyed over time. For example, prior to 1991, the survey included some individuals who had received doctoral degrees in fields outside of S&E or had received their degrees from non-U.S. universities. Since coverage of these individuals had declined over time, the decision was made to delete them from the 1991 survey. The survey improvements made in 1993 are sufficiently great that SRS staff believe that trend analyses between the data from the 1990s surveys and the surveys in prior years must be performed very cautiously, if at all. 5 A more difficult task is comparing several university studies. Myriad approaches have been taken by universities in evaluating and assessing characteristics of their faculty, but concerns over comparability somewhat reduce the usefulness of the information gathered. Fourth, in the interest of preserving confidentiality, surveys often provide aggregated information rather than the raw (i.e., individual) data. Certainly confi- dentiality is critical, but it means that some studies are less transparent in describ- ing how the study was conducted and who was surveyed, making it more difficult to replicate or disaggregate the data and examine it differently. Readers are con- strained by the findings reported by the scholars who put the data together. SELECTED FACTORS CONTRIBuTING TO GENDER DIFFERENCES AMONG FACuLTy Numerous factors have been used in the past to assess the status of male and female faculty in their careers. Characteristics that are often explored, aside from gender, are age, marital and family status, citizenship, field of study, educational experience (including highest degree and doctorate-granting institution), and employment experience (including number and types of previous jobs and char- acteristics of a faculty member’s current position, such as rank or tenure status). The research on a few of these factors is highlighted here. Relative Age of Women Faculty In general, women as a group were younger than male faculty. Women are more recent entrants into academia than men, therefore women’s representation among academic faculty was conditioned not only on the number of new Ph.D.s being granted to women, but also on the initial age and sex composition of faculty members and changes in the number of faculty positions (Hargens and Long, 5 “Survey Methodology: Survey of Doctorate Recipients,” NSF Web site at http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/ srs/ssdr/sdrmeth.htm [accessed on March 17, 2004].

OCR for page 267
 APPENDIXES 2002). Moreover, “while new cohorts of Ph.D.s entering the academic market- place are increasingly female, each new cohort is only a small proportion of those currently employed. Consequently, the move toward parity in the representation of women must occur slowly” (NRC, 2001:132). Hopkins (2006:16) gave an example in the case of MIT: In part, the small number of women faculty in [the Schools of] Science and En- gineering can be explained by (1) the fact that the “pipeline” began to fill only about 40 years ago; and (2) faculty turnover rates are slow, with many faculty who achieve tenure staying at MIT for 30-40 years. Only about 5% of the MIT faculty leaves each year due to retirement, failure to achieve tenure, or other fac- tors. At this rate, and assuming a 50% tenure rate, it would take approximately 40 years for a department that had no women faculty to have a faculty that has the same percentage of women as the Ph.D. pool. As the NSF (1999:99) notes: “many of the differences in employment charac- teristics between men and women are partially due to differences in age. Women in the science and engineering workforce are younger, on average, than men: 18 percent of women and 12 percent of men employed as scientists and engineers were younger than age 30 in 1995.” Since women faculty are younger, they have had, on average, less opportunity to receive tenure or a promotion, making career age a vitally important factor to control for in assessments of gender disparities in rank and tenure status (see e.g., NRC, 2001a; Olson, 2002). Family Issues Marital status and the presence of children were often mentioned as critical to assessing gender differences.6 Rosser (2003) surveyed women who received an NSF POWRE award between 1997 and 2000. She found that “overwhelming numbers of survey respondents found ‘balancing work with family’ to be the most significant challenge facing women scientists and engineers. Interestingly, the responses remained remarkably similar across disciplines: balancing work with family responsibilities was the major issue for women from all the fields of study covered by the survey.” Spouses and children presented competing demands for time on the part of a faculty member and might bring additional actors or consid- erations into decision making. These competing demands may have meant that some faculty had less human capital, experience, or productivity; or that applicants for academic positions were more constrained in where they applied because of family or the spouse’s employment considerations (often referred to as geographic mobility or the two-body problem). Did these factors affect men and women similarly? Research suggests that the answer was no. Women were more likely to be negatively affected by mar- 6 Interestingly, research is adding care of older family members—for similar reasons as care of children (e.g., Sax et al., 2002).

OCR for page 267
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS riage and the presence of children. The NRC (2001a) found some evidence that being married with young children helped men but hurt women in terms of their academic career. The size of this effect had been shown to increase for men and to decrease for women. Xie and Shauman (2003) and Mason and Goulden (2002) found that marriage and family also negatively affected women pursuing science and engineering careers. Toutkoushian (1998a:515) laid out an hypotheses as to why the effect of marital status on faculty salary might differ by gender: on the supply side, since women “often bear the majority of child-rearing responsibilities in American society, married women may be more likely than married men to interrupt or reduce their time allocation to their career,” or “married women may accept lower wages in order to find employment at the same institution as their spouses.” On the demand side, “institutions may make higher salary offers to married men than to married women on the premise that married men are typically the breadwinners of the family and thus have a greater need for higher salaries.” Using NSOPF:93 to analyze faculty salaries, Toutkoushian found that the return on marriage for men was statistically significant and positive, but there was no corresponding return for women. Sax et al. (2002:426) focused on the role of family-related variables in research productivity. Specifically, they asked: “Do marriage, children, aging parents, and other family-related factors influence faculty research productivity?” and “Is the nature of family-related factors dependent on gender or tenure status?” They analyzed data from the 1998-1999 Higher Education Research Institute Faculty Survey. They found, first, that male faculty were more productive than women, when compared at increasing levels of output over 2 years, i.e., a greater percentage of women than men produced zero publications, while a greater per- centage of men than women produced five or more publications. However, Sax et al. found that “family variables contributed little or nothing to the prediction of faculty research productivity. More important were professional variables such as academic rank, salary, orientation toward research, and desire for recognition” (p. 435). Sax et al., hypothesized the lack of effect may have resulted because women who had children were able to do more with their limited time and reduce their time in activities outside of work and home (i.e., leisure time). Perna (2003a:2) used the NSOPF:99 “to examine the ways in which parental status, marital status, and the employment status of the spouse are related to two outcomes, tenure and promotion, among college and university faculty.” In an earlier study drawing on data from the NSOPF:93, Perna (2001c, cited in 2003a:3) “found that parental and marital status were related to employment status among junior faculty and that the relationships were different for women than for men. Men appeared to benefit from having children, as men with at least one child were less likely to hold a full-time, non-tenure track position than they were to hold a full-time, tenure track position.” In this study, Perna found

OCR for page 267
 APPENDIXES measures of family ties are related to tenure status and academic rank, but the contribution of family ties to tenure status and academic rank was different for women than for men. Contrary to expectations based on economic and social capital perspectives, having dependents and having a spouse or partner employed at the same insti- tution were both unrelated to tenure and rank among women faculty at 4-year institutions in the fall of 1999. In contrast, men appeared to have benefitted in terms of their tenure status and academic rank from having dependents and in terms of their academic rank from being married. Compared with other men, men without dependents were substantially less likely to hold tenured positions and were more likely to hold the lowest academic ranks of instructor, lecturer, and ‘other.’ Men also appeared to benefit in terms of their academic rank from being married. Specifically, men with a spouse or partner who was employed at the same institution were less likely to hold the lowest ranks of assistant pro- fessor and instructor, lecturer, or other rank than they were to hold the highest ranks of full and associate professor. Men with a spouse or partner who was not employed in higher education were more likely than other men to hold the rank of full professor. Kulis and Sicotte (2002:2) examined “whether women are disproportionately drawn to large cities, areas with many local colleges, and the regional centers of doctoral production.” Reviewing the literature, they suggested, regardless of aca- demic achievement, wives in dual-career households were more likely to be the “trailing spouse” or “tied migrant” whose career suffered after a move, or were the one who was constrained from moving to a more advantageous career destination (p. 6). To test such hypotheses, they turned to the 1998 SDR. Their findings were essentially that women were congregated in fewer geographical areas. Women “scientists overall have more geographically constrained careers in academia, even controlling for marital status, parental responsibilities, and age” (p. 21). Women in these areas also had reduced career outcomes compared with men.” Mason and Goulden (2002) conducted research on “family formation and its effects on the career lives of both women and men academics from the time they receive their doctorates until 20 years later.” They employed data from the SDR for 1973-1999. They found “in the sciences and engineering, among those working in academia, men who have early babies are strikingly more successful in earning tenure than women who have early babies. Surprisingly, having early babies seems to help men; men who have early babies achieve tenure at slightly higher rates than people who do not have early babies. Women with early babies often do not get as far as ladder-rank jobs.” Data from the analysis of the SDR suggested many married women with children indicated that they were consider- ing leaving academia.

OCR for page 267
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS Institutional Policies and Practices Previous research on the role of institutions in gender differences among their faculty consisted of two different approaches. One approach focused on structural differences among institutions, arguing that such variables as the type of institution, whether it was a public or private institution, its prestige, whether it was unionized, and even its geographic region could explain some of the differ- ences between male and female faculty members. A more challenging approach focused on the way in which universities worked—hire faculty, grant tenure, and promote faculty—arguing that these policies and procedures could be biased against particular groups of people (see e.g., Gibbons, 1992b; Menges and Exum, 1983; Steinpreis et al., 1999; and Valian, 1998; 2004).7 An example of an important policy affecting women’s academic careers was stopping the tenure clock. By 2004, many universities had such policies in place, but some studies found that faculty were hesitant to make use of such a policy. For many women, the fear that taking an extension might cause their senior colleagues to view them more negatively and hurt their career—an effect not conclusively documented—was sufficient to dissuade them from taking this option (Bhattacharjee, 2004b). Policies about hiring spouses were also seen as relevant in both hiring and retention of women, as women were more likely than men to be married to other academics. Equally important were policies on child care and parental leave. According to researchers, creating spousal hiring programs and establishing parental leave policies and child care were practices that “would make academic institutions more attractive to prospective candidates of either gender” (Sullivan et al., 2004). This review of previous literature and research reflects the opinions at the time of this study’s surveys of faculty and departments. They should help to assess the climate at research-intensive institutions at that time and may be helpful in assessing how effective the efforts of these institutions have been since then to improve the representation of women S&E faculty. 7 A review by the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison titled, “Reviewing Applicants: Research on Bias and Assumptions” identified several studies suggesting that female candidates may have a tougher time. Available at http://wiseli. engr.wisc.edu/doc/BiasBrochure_2ndEd.pdf [accessed on October 7, 2008].