Cover Image

HARDBACK
$48.95



View/Hide Left Panel

3
Gender Differences in Academic Hiring

This chapter examines this critical entry point into an academic career—and its components—with a primary focus on differences in hiring outcomes for tenure-track assistant professor and tenured associate or full professor positions, and how these differences might be explained. The following research questions are addressed:

  • Is gender associated with the probability of individuals applying for S&E positions in research-intensive institutions?

  • Given that an individual applies for a position, does a woman have the same probability of being interviewed as a man?

  • Given that an individual is interviewed for a position, does a woman have the same probability of being offered a position as a man?

As the chapter explores the impact of institutional and departmental characteristics, rather than the individual characteristics of potential applicants and job candidates, another way to frame the research questions is, what are the characteristics of research-intensive (Research I or RI) institutions associated with proportionately more applications from women, interviews of women, and offers to women?

The chapter is divided into five sections. We outline the hiring process with a focus on three key parts of the hiring process—applications, interviews, and offers. The final two sections describe faculty perceptions of hiring and institutional policies based on data from our faculty survey. A review of the relevant literature and research and what it suggests we should expect to find in our survey data can be found in Appendix 2-1.



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 39
3 Gender Differences in Academic Hiring This chapter examines this critical entry point into an academic career—and its components—with a primary focus on differences in hiring outcomes for tenure-track assistant professor and tenured associate or full professor positions, and how these differences might be explained. The following research questions are addressed: • Is gender associated with the probability of individuals applying for S&E positions in research-intensive institutions? • Given that an individual applies for a position, does a woman have the same probability of being interviewed as a man? • Given that an individual is interviewed for a position, does a woman have the same probability of being offered a position as a man? As the chapter explores the impact of institutional and departmental char- acteristics, rather than the individual characteristics of potential applicants and job candidates, another way to frame the research questions is, what are the characteristics of research-intensive (Research I or RI) institutions associated with proportionately more applications from women, interviews of women, and offers to women? The chapter is divided into five sections. We outline the hiring process with a focus on three key parts of the hiring process—applications, interviews, and offers. The final two sections describe faculty perceptions of hiring and institu- tional policies based on data from our faculty survey. A review of the relevant literature and research and what it suggests we should expect to find in our survey data can be found in Appendix 2-1. 

OCR for page 39
0 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS THE HIRING PROCESS The hiring process consists of a series of decisions made sequentially by an academic department and job applicants. A department is authorized to search to fill a faculty position. The search may be for a senior faculty member who will be offered a tenured position; for a tenure-track position, which has the potential to become a tenured position, but does not provide tenure at the time of hire; or for both. This chapter separately considers tenure-track positions and tenured positions for which the six science and engineering departments in Research I institutions surveyed completed searches in the period 2002-2004. This report does not report on positions off the tenure track because no data were collected on these openings. This section briefly outlines the steps in the hiring process as follows: • the department’s actions in advertising the availability of a position; • the individual’s decision on whether to apply for the position; • the department’s choice of individuals to interview and to make the first offer to; and • the individual’s choice of whether to accept the offer. Each of these steps is described below. Advertising the Position As part of the process that authorizes a department to fill a faculty position at a tenured or tenure-track level, the department determines the subfield(s) that the individual will be expected to fill (both in a research and teaching capacity). Tenure-track positions at the assistant professor level are advertised nationally in journals and at national conferences. Letters may also be sent to department chairs or faculty in a particular subfield notifying them of open positions. Efforts are generally made to make the hiring process for tenure-track positions appear open and equitable. Advertisements note that the institutions follow Equal Employ- ment Opportunity (EEO) rules, and many ads specifically encourage applications by women and minorities. At this point in the process, it is very likely male and female candidates are equally aware of most positions. That is, there is not likely to be a gender-based information gap. In addition to national advertising, however, the hiring process for tenure- track positions also involves recruiting that could result in gender differences in application rates. For example, word-of-mouth recruiting practices by faculty may generate differences by gender, intentionally or not, in information about the position available to potential applicants. Search committees may try to overcome the limitations of established networks by making special efforts to increase the number of women applying for a given position.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING The recruitment process for tenured positions may differ from the process for tenure-track positions in subtle ways. Although the advertising for tenured positions frequently mirrors the advertising for tenure-track positions, it is also common for a department to formulate a list of the leading candidates, based on its view of who is doing the most interesting and important research in that particular subfield, and to ask those on the list directly if they are interested in applying. The Decision to Apply Once a potential applicant is aware of a position, this individual may or may not choose to apply. In making this decision, a potential applicant may receive advice from many people, including the person’s mentor, department chair, peers, faculty at various institutions, family members, or spouse. A variety of factors may be taken into account in determining whether to apply. These include expectations about the desirability of the position (salary and benefits, prestige of the depart- ment, facilities, or workload); the location; and whether a spouse’s or other family member’s needs will be met. An important factor may also include the encourage- ment (or lack thereof) that potential applicants receive from the faculty members that they consult, particularly their dissertation or postdoctoral supervisors. Requests for Campus Visits, Interviews, and Selection Once applications arrive, decision making reverts to the institution, typically through an appointed search committee. At this point, the search committee ranks the applicants and determines whom to invite to campus for interviews or for preliminary interviews at professional society meetings. Search committees also consider a variety of factors in determining who they feel are the best candidates, including expectations of future productivity (e.g., research and grants received), ability to meet teaching needs, and perceptions of fit. “Fit” is perhaps the most subjective criterion. It is usually thought of as how well a particular candidate’s area of expertise or methodological approach works with the department’s current needs or vision for its future strengths and mission. However, it can also focus attention on a candidate’s demographic background or personality. Different search committees weigh these factors differently. Top candidates are invited to interview, which usually includes giving a talk about their research. This gives the search committee extra information on a few candidates. At the end of this process, often—but not always—an offer is made to a candidate. The Decision to Accept or Reject the Offer The final decision is made by the candidate whether or not to accept the offer. Again, the candidate weighs many factors in making this decision. These include the benefits of the position, other employment opportunities, and the

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS candidate’s preferences (possibly also including the preferences of a spouse or family members). Data on Hiring Data on the hiring process, as described above, are scant. Unfortunately, nationally representative information is not available. First, there is no national evidence on applicant behavior. It is not known if male and female S&E doctorates apply to positions in a similar manner. Second, evidence of how search commit- tees select one candidate over another is lacking, perhaps because the selection process can be difficult to quantify. Third, there is little evidence describing the number of individuals who go through the hiring process. While departments collect information on the number of applicants who apply for a position and are interviewed, and while gender is often noted for these individuals, data are rarely made public for rather good reasons, including the right to privacy of job appli- cants.1 Further, comparable data on hiring activities at different universities are not generally available to allow an examination of how university and departmental search policies and practices affect hiring outcomes. National statistics such as the National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty or the Survey of Doctorate Recipients focus on individuals in their current positions. The SDR asks doctorates about their postgraduate plans and whether they are interested in a postdoctoral or academic position, but does not follow respondents any further. As a result, this chapter will draw primarily from this study’s departmental survey described in Chapter 1 and in Appendix 1-4.2 The survey asked chairs of the six targeted departments in each of the Research I institutions to report whether they had conducted any searches during the 2002-2003 or 2003-2004 academic years. Of the 492 surveyed, 417 responding departments reported a total of 1,218 searches, ranging between 1 and 15 searches per department. Responding departments were asked to identify whether the search was for a tenured or tenure-track position. In a few instances respondents wrote in “both” (17 out of 1,218), and to a lesser degree “target of opportunity” (5 out of 1,218). A few (40 out of 1,218) left this question unanswered. Respon- 1 However, some institutions do release their analyses of hiring. An excellent example is the 2003 gender equity report undertaken at the University of Pennsylvania, which presents important data for consideration and evaluation while maintaining anonymity. See http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v50/ n16/gender_equity.html. See also the report, University of California: Some Campuses and Academic Departments Need to Take Additional Steps to Resolve Gender Disparities among Professors , Report by the California State Auditor, 2001, available at http://www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2000-131.pdf. See also the report by the Commission on the Status of Women at Columbia University, Advance- ment of Women Through the Academic Ranks of the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: Where Are the Leaks in the Pipeline?, available at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/senate/ annual_reports/01-02/Pipeline2a_as_dist.doc.pdf. 2 The committee acknowledges that the p-values for all the data presented are unadjusted and that many of the data presented are interconnected.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING dents were then asked to provide data on the number of applicants and interview - ees for each advertised position by gender. Finally, they were asked to identify the gender of the individual who was first offered the position and the gender of the person who was ultimately hired.3 In general, departments were much more knowledgeable about the later stages of the hiring process and thus provided more complete data on offers and hires than on interviews or applicants. The number of cases for which we had com- plete information on applicants, interviewees, first offers, and hires—all disag- gregated by gender—varied between 534 cases (with complete hire information) and 758 cases (with complete applicant information). Thus, the number of cases considered in this chapter depends on the stage of the hiring process. Only tenured and tenure-track cases are considered in the analysis. For each stage in the hiring process (applications, interviews, offers), descriptive statistics based on the data collected from the departmental survey are first presented. Then, the appropriate statistical models are fit in order to understand the departmental characteristics associated with the percent of females at each stage of the hiring process. APPLICATIONS FOR FACuLTy POSITIONS A necessary precondition for hiring a female faculty member is to have women who are interested in applying for the position. The survey data clearly show that some departments are more successful than others in attracting female applicants.4 Moreover, our data show that there are still a number of positions for which no women apply. Throughout this report, we will present summary statistics, such as the fol- lowing ones, that state current values for men and women across the six disciplines surveyed. These statistics do not reflect the survey weights5 and are not treated for the different degrees of nonresponse that depended on the characteristic exam- ined. Therefore, these statistics are NOT appropriate estimates of any national characteristics for men and women, but instead are quick impressions of the data collected, which are often the beginning of a more meaningful analysis that is conditional on the disciplinary area.6 3 A limitation of the survey was that it did not ask for the gender of every candidate offered a particular position. 4 Note that this analysis implies nothing about the quality of applicants. Some people apply for jobs for which they are not a very good fit. The committee did not assess whether male and female applicants would behave any differently in this regard. 5 Recall that the committee’s survey was stratified in order to collect similar numbers of respon - dents in each of the six disciplinary areas, and therefore respondents from different disciplines have different survey weights. 6 These estimates would be useful as national estimates only in situations in which the disciplines are relatively homogeneous with respect to a given characteristic and the nonresponse which occurred was such that nonrespondents did not differ in their characteristics from respondents.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS 350 300 250 Number of Positions 200 150 100 50 0 0–9 10–19 20–29 30–39 40–49 50–59 60–69 70–79 80–89 90–99 100 Percentage of Women Among Applicants FIGURE 3-1(a) Percentage of females among applicants to all tenured and tenure-track Figure 3-1a.eps positions. Descriptive Data While women are increasingly receiving Ph.D.s in Science and Engineer- ing (S&E), they are still greatly outnumbered by men in terms of applications for Research I positions. For tenure-track jobs, the median number of applica- tions a department receives is 52 applications from men and 8 applications from women—or about 7 applications from men for every application from a woman. For tenured positions, the median number of applications a department receives is 40 applications from men and 8 from women, for a ratio of 5 to 1.7 Figure 3- 1(a) presents a histogram of the percentage of female applicants for all positions; Figure 3-1(b) presents this information for tenured positions; and Figure 3-1(c) presents this information for tenure-track positions. Overall, departments received from 1 to 800 applications for their advertised tenure-track positions (n = 626), and 1 to 500 applications for tenured positions (n = 128). Departments recorded only 1 applicant for 17 (3 percent) tenure-track positions and 9 (8 percent) tenured positions. The survey results showed that 3 men and 2 women were hired through “target of opportunity” positions where 7 These figures are medians. The median was used because the data are skewed; there are a few positions that had hundreds of applicants. The mean number of applications for tenure-track jobs was 85 applications from men and 17 from women. The mean number of applications for tenured jobs was 78 from men and 17 from women.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING 50 40 Number of Positions 30 20 10 0 0–9 10–19 20–29 30–39 40–49 50–59 60–69 70–79 80–89 90–99 100 Percentage of Women Among Applicants FIGURE 3-1(b) Percentage of women among applicants to all tenured positions. Figure 3-1b.eps 300 250 Number of Positions 200 150 100 50 0 0–9 10–19 20–29 30–39 40–49 50–59 60–69 70–79 80–89 90–99 100 Percentage of Women Among Applicants FIGURE 3-1(c) Percentage of women among3-1c.eps all tenure-track positions. Figure applicants to SOURCE: Survey of departments carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS TABLE 3-1 Number of Tenured and Tenure-Track Positions with Complete Information About the Gender of Applicants by Discipline Discipline Tenured Tenure-Track Biology 24 (15) 118 (43) Chemistry 19 (16) 128 (47) Civil Engineering 13 (9) 73 (33) Electrical Engineering 14 (9) 75 (27) Mathematics 31 (16) 98 (37) Physics 27 (14) 134 (47) NOTE: Numbers in parentheses are the numbers of separate departments offering those positions. SOURCE: Survey of departments carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. the position by intention was offered to only 1 candidate, though the rank at hire was not known. Table 3-1 shows the number of cases with complete applicant information by discipline and type of position (tenured or tenure-track). Note that the number of cases across discipline and type of position combinations is roughly similar, so no discipline contributes an inordinate proportion of the data to the analyses that follow. Another finding is that for job openings for which only individuals of 1 gen- der applied, that gender was more likely to be male. For tenure-track positions, there were only 9 openings for which no men applied (only women applied), and 8 of these were cases in which only 1 woman applied. On the other hand, there were no female applicants (only men applied) for 32 tenure-track positions, or about 6 percent of available positions, with only 9 of these positions having a single applicant. Similar findings were seen for tenured positions. For 2 positions, no men applied. These were the 2 cases in which there was only 1 applicant. Con- versely, no women applied to 16 tenured jobs, or 16.5 percent of the positions; only 7 of these were single-applicant positions. This finding may lend credence to the anecdotal argument sometimes propounded by chairs or search commit- tees that no women applied for particular advertised positions (Brennan, 1996; see especially p. 9). Considering the data by discipline, in the instance of tenure-track positions, most of the cases (29 of 32) in which only men applied occurred in physics or the engineering fields. For tenured positions, 10 of the 16 cases occurred in chemistry (6) and physics (4). This may reflect the fact that engineering and physics have a lower percentage of female doctorates or that female engineers and physicists are more likely to prefer employment outside of major research universities. Finally, how do the percentages of female applicants relate to the percent- age of women in the doctoral pool from which departments are drawing? One might expect the proportion of female applicants to be similar to the percentage

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING TABLE 3-2 Percentage of Women in the Doctoral Pool and Distribution of the Percentage of Women among Job Applicants for Tenure-Track Positions by Discipline 1999-2003 Mean Percentage of All Doctorate-Granting 1999-2003 Research I Female Applicants for Institutions Institutions Only Tenure-Track Positions (percent)a Discipline (percent) (percent) Biology 45 45 26 (8, 25, 50) Chemistry 32 32 18 (6, 15, 39) Civil Engineering 18 18 16 (0, 10, 100) Electrical Engineering 12 12 11 (0, 10, 22) Mathematics 27 25 20 (9, 20, 34) Physics 15 14 13 (0, 10, 27) NOTES: In parentheses, we show the 5th percentile, the median, and the 95th percentile (computed over all tenure-track positions in each discipline) of the percentage of females among applicants. Only those tenure-track positions with complete information about the gender of candidates were included in these calculations (as in Table 3-1). a Mean percentage of female applicants computed as the average (over all tenure-track positions) of the percentage of females in the applicant pool. SOURCE: Ph.D. data are from the National Science Foundation. WebCASP distribution of the per- centage of female applicants was computed using the same data used to construct Table 3-1. of doctorates awarded to women in S&E across each of the disciplines. Table 3-2 suggests that this relationship is more complex. In the table, the second column shows percentages of doctorates awarded to women in the period 1999-2003 by doctorate-granting institutions, while the third column shows percentages of Ph.D.s awarded to women by the subset of Research I institutions.8 Data on the proportion of women among all applicants for tenure-track jobs by discipline are presented in column four. In examining Table 3-2, it is important to note that while the second and third columns reflect averages over individuals, the last column relates to the percentage of women averaged over job openings. Thus, the values are not strictly compa- rable. An individual can apply to more than one job and may be counted multiple times as an applicant. If women are more likely to apply to multiple jobs than men, then the percentage of women among applicants is overestimated. Conversely, if women only apply to a few positions while men apply to many, then the average percentage of women applicants (and the rest of the distribution of the percentage of female applicants) is underestimated. Table 3-2 shows that the percentage of applications from women are 8 For a discussion of how to define the “pool of qualified candidates,” see NAS, NAE, and IOM (2007).

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS consistently lower than the percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to women. There are, however, substantial differences among the disciplines in how much they are lower. In electrical engineering, mathematics, and physics, the percentage of women applying for faculty positions is only modestly lower than the percentage of women receiving Ph.D.s. However, in the fields with the largest representa- tion of women with Ph.D.s—biology and chemistry—the percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to women exceeds the percentage of applications from women by a large amount. This finding should be further explored. Possible explanations that might be tested in follow-on research include: • Female biology and chemistry doctorates prefer occupations outside of research-intensive institutions relative to men (for example, in higher education, but in liberal arts colleges; in education as K-12 teachers; or in industry or government); • As the percentage of doctorates awarded to women increases, depart- ments may make fewer special efforts to encourage women to apply for faculty positions; or • Female Ph.D.s in biology and chemistry apply for fewer jobs than women in other fields relative to men. The first hypothesis may also, to a greater or lesser extent, hold for the smaller disparities found in civil engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, and physics. Another study examining the percentage of women in Ph.D. pools relative to the percentage of female faculty also found mixed results (NAS, NAE, and IOM, 2007). Comparing data for faculty who were tenure-track or tenured in 2003 with earlier averages of doctorates revealed that in engineering, chemistry, and the physical sciences, there was a smaller percentage of women in the Ph.D. pool than in assistant professor positions, while in the life sciences, computer sciences, and mathematics, the percentage of women in the pool of doctorates was larger. Comparing the doctoral pool to associate professors in engineering and life sciences, the percentage of women in the pool exceeded the percentage of female associate professors. In computer science, chemistry, the physical sciences, and mathematics, there was a greater percentage of female associate professors. Considering full professors, the percentage of female full professors in most fields was smaller than the percentage of women in the relevant doctoral pool. Statistical Analysis Having summarized earlier in this chapter the literature on the factors that are potentially associated with the percentage of applicants who are women, we now investigate whether the data on hiring collected in our surveys support the hypotheses put forth by earlier investigators. In our applicant models, the fol-

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING lowing institutional, departmental, and position-level variables measured in our survey were used as explanatory variables: discipline, type of position (tenured, tenure-track), whether the institution is private or public, the prestige level of the department advertising the position, the proportion of females in the search committee, the number of family-friendly policies advertised by the institution, whether the search committee chair is a man or a woman, the percentage of female faculty in the department, and the size of the metropolitan area in which the institution is located. We first investigated whether any of these factors are associated with the probability that no women apply to a position.9 To do so, we first created a binary variable with the value 0 if there were no female applicants and the value 1 if at least one woman applied to the position. We excluded for this analysis those positions identified as target of opportunity and open rank positions. We fitted a logistic regression model to the binary outcome variable and included as predic- tors in the model the institutional, departmental, and position-level variables listed above, as well as two-way interactions between discipline and the other predic- tors to investigate whether any of the potential effects of predictors is discipline- dependent. To account for possible correlations within positions advertised by the same institution, we implemented the method of generalized estimating equations (GEE) to compute standard errors for all parameter estimates that account for possible correlations across positions in the same institution. We found the probability that at least one woman would apply to a position is associated with the set of discipline indicators (p = 0.03), type of position (p < 0.0001), type of institution (p = 0.08), prestige of the institution (p = 0.04), and the number of family-friendly policies in effect at the institution ( p = 0.001). No other factor was statistically associated with the probability of at least one female applicant. Results can be more easily understood by looking at the adjusted means of the differences in the probability of no female applicant across levels of some of the statistically significant factors. These adjusted means are the means computed after “adjusting for” or “accounting for” all other effects in the model. Technical details and the tables are given in Appendix 3-2. We then focused on all positions and modeled the number of female applicants as a function of the same indepen- dent variables listed above. To do so, we fitted a Poisson regression model to the number of female applicants and used total number of applicants as an exposure variable. Possible correlation across positions advertised by the same institution was accounted for when computing standard errors of parameter estimates via the method of generalized estimating equations method. Again, we only included positions that were advertised as tenured or tenure-track. As expected, we found statistically significant differences across disciplines in the proportion of females in the applicant pool. Biology, chemistry, and math- 9 The vast majority of both tenure-track (94 percent) and tenured (83.5 percent) positions had at least one female applicant.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING In almost all cases, deans play a role at the time of offering a tenure-track or tenured position to an applicant.) The size of the “dean effect” must therefore be interpreted cautiously. For every 1 percent increase in the percentage of females in the interview pool, the probability that a woman would be offered the posi- tion increased by about 5 percent. Finally, the probability that a woman would be offered the position was lowest at the top 20 research-intensive institutions compared with non-top 20 research-intensive institutions surveyed. At the highest prestige institutions (top 10), the probability that a woman would get an offer approached significance (p = 0.08). No other factors were associated with the probability that a woman would get an offer. HIRES Explaining hires made is more difficult, as the decision to hire involves the department, which makes the offer, and the applicant, who accepts. The committee’s departmental survey does not have information on characteristics of those ultimately hired, beyond their gender. However, the committee’s faculty survey did ask faculty some questions about reasons for accepting the position offered to them. Answers to these questions are explored in the next section of this chapter. Table 3-7 presents data on the gender of the individual receiving the first offer and the gender of the faculty member ultimately hired for tenure-track positions. In 95 percent of the cases in which a man was the first choice for a position, a man was ultimately hired in that position. Compare this to the case for women, where only 70 percent of cases in which a woman was first offered a position was a woman ultimately hired. In 30 percent of the cases in which women were offered first, a man ultimately ended up in the position.10 Table 3-8 presents data on the gender of the individual receiving the first offer and the gender of the faculty member ultimately hired for tenured positions. In all cases in which a man was offered the position first, a man was ultimately hired. In only 77 percent of the cases in which a woman was offered the position first was a woman ultimately hired. In 23 percent of the cases in which a woman was offered the position first, a man was ultimately hired, again suggesting that if the woman who is first offered the position does not accept, there is a substantial chance the job will go to a man. 10 Note, however, that we do not know if the person first offered and the person hired are the same person, where the genders are the same. Nor do we know how many offers were made before some- one was eventually hired. Since men outnumber women in the offers made, one would expect that the proportion of times women turn down an offer, resulting in a man being ultimately hired, should be higher than the proportion of times that men turn down an offer, resulting in a woman ultimately being hired.

OCR for page 39
0 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS TABLE 3-7 Percent of Candidates of Each Gender Who Received the First Offer and Gender of Candidates Who Eventually Accepted Each Tenure-Track Position Person Hired Was a Position Was Offered to Female Male Female 70 (107) 30 (46) Male 5 (19) 95 (362) NOTES: Number of cases is given in parentheses. Table 3-7 is based on the subset of the positions used to construct Table 3-6 for which the gender of the person who accepted the position was known. We do not know from these data whether the person who accepted the position is the same person who received the first offer, even in those cases in which the gender is the same. SOURCE: Survey of departments carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. TABLE 3-8 First Offer and Person Hired for Tenured Position, Percent by Gender Person Hired Was a Position Was Offered to Female Male Female 77 (20) 23 (6) Male 0 (0) 100 (67) NOTES: Number of cases is given in parentheses. Table 3-8 is based on the subset of the positions used to construct Table 3-6 for which the gender of the person who accepted the position was known. We do not know from these data whether the person who accepted the position is the same person who received the first offer, even in those cases in which the gender is the same. Number of cases is given in parentheses. SOURCE: Survey of departments carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. We do not have information in our survey data to permit investigating this difference further. One plausible explanation is that many women who are offered positions are the only woman interviewed for that position. If the only woman interviewed is offered the position and turns it down (for whatever reason), that position will inevitably be filled by a man. In fact, only one woman was inter- viewed for 205 (38 percent) of the tenure-track and 23 (24 percent) of the tenured openings for which more than one person was interviewed. While there are many reasons why a person might turn down a job offer, in this particular instance, it is possible women, who are interviewed at disproportionally higher rates, also receive more offers than men and have to turn some of them down.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING FACuLTy PERSPECTIVE ON HIRING Turning to the faculty survey, the committee asked faculty who were either tenure-track or tenured and had been hired after 1996 what were their “main con- siderations in deciding to work for their current institution.” Respondents could check up to 15 choices (the 15th and final choice was Other). For each selection, respondents could check yes or no. These data were coded for analysis as follows: If a respondent selected yes or no for some choices but left others unchecked, the unchecked choices were recoded as no. A chi-square (χ2) test was conducted on each of the 14 substantive selections against gender to investigate whether women and men weighed factors differently when deciding to accept an offer for a posi- tion. The responses are presented in Appendix 3-8 and are summarized in Figure 3-2 below. The effect of gender was statistically significant only in the case of family-related reasons. As might have been anticipated, women were more likely to weigh family-related factors more heavily than men when deciding whether to accept an offer, but the difference is not substantial. INSTITuTIONAL POLICIES FOR INCREASING THE DIVERSITy OF APPLICANT POOLS Our findings suggest that once women apply to a position at a research- intensive institution, the chances that they will be invited to an interview and be offered a position are disproportionately high for many of the disciplines we surveyed. Yet the proportion of women in faculty positions continues to be low despite increasing numbers of women receiving doctorates in the sciences and engineering. In this light, and given that the percentage of women applying for positions is apparently lower than the percentage of women receiving Ph.D.s in the six target disciplines, it appears that the only strategy to increase female representation in the faculty ranks is to increase the percentage of women in the applicant pool. The NRC’s To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering (2006) identified institutional characteristics, culture, and poli- cies that may have an impact on the percentage of females who choose to apply to academic positions in science and engineering. Some of these include: • Increased institutional efforts in signaling the importance of a gender- diverse faculty. This might be accomplished by increasing the frequency of positive declarative institutional statements, by establishing a commit- tee on women, by exercising close oversight over the hiring process, or by devoting additional resources to hiring women. • Modified and expanded faculty recruiting programs. Consider, for exam- ple, creating special faculty lines earmarked for female or minority candidates, ensuring search committees are diverse, encouraging inter-

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS Percent 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Collegiality of faculty Reputation of department or university Opportunities for research collaboration Desire to build or lead a new program or area of research Job location Quality of research facilities Start-up package Access to research facilities Family-related reasons Promotion opportunities Funding opportunities Pay Benefits This was the only offer I received Male Female FIGURE 3-2 Main considerations for selecting current position (percent saying “yes, this Figure 3-2.eps was a factor”), by gender (see Appendix 3-8). SOURCE: Faculty Survey carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING vention by deans when applicant or interview pools lack diversity, and systematically assessing past hiring efforts. • Improved institutional policies and practices. These might include insert- ing some flexibility into the tenure clock, providing child care facilities on campus, establishing policies for faculty leave for family or per- sonal reasons, significantly stepping up efforts to accommodate dual career couples, and continuing to offer training at all levels to combat harassment and discrimination and to raise the awareness of all campus citizens.11 • Improved position of candidates through career advising, networking, and enhancing qualifications. While all the strategies above might have an impact on the proportion of women in applicant pools, it appears that only the last two might actually encour- age more women to choose academia for their professional activity. The issue is not whether female applicants are treated fairly in the interviewing and hiring process; by several indications, they are. Where progress can still be made is in attracting more women to academia by encouraging more of them to apply for faculty positions at Research I institutions. It seems that refocusing resources to develop strategies to encourage female graduate students to pursue a career in academia has the potential for enormous impact. Written policies and handbooks for faculty searches frequently note spe- cific steps that can be taken to improve the diversity of applicant pools. These include: • Defining searches broadly to encourage a more diverse applicant pool; • Posting the job advertisement in a wide range of outlets; • Contacting professional associations that represent women (e.g., the Caucus for Women in Statistics, Society of Women Engineers, Associa- tion for Women in Science, etc.); and • Evaluating the applicant pool during the search to determine if sufficient numbers of women are applying. Departments reported a variety of actions in response to our survey question, “What steps (if any) has your department or institution taken to increase the gen- der diversity of your candidate pool?” This was an open-ended question, and the most frequent responses are shown in Table 3-9. Four hundred seventeen depart- ments responded. Departments wrote in with answers ranging from zero to 6 steps and citing anywhere from having zero to 15 policies in place. Targeted or special 11 However, analysis presented in this chapter does not find an effect of the number of family- friendly policies on the percentage of female applicants. The impact of such policies on applications may bear further study.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS TABLE 3-9 Steps Taken to Increase the Gender Diversity of the Candidate Pool Number of Departments Step Reporting Targeted or special advertising 80 Other 71 General advertising 58 Recruiting at conferences, contacting women directly, using personal contacts 47 Help from diversity/EEO office or coordinator 47 Contacting colleagues and other universities 42 Special language used in advertising 34 Special consideration to females (e.g., making extra effort to interview females) 34 Informal networks 25 Grants or special funds for hiring women 19 Target of opportunity 19 Use of special databases or directories 18 Having a diverse search committee 17 Broadening searches 11 NOTE: Many of the 417 departments provided multiple answers to the open-ended survey question, and 71 departments that reported that they have taken steps other than those listed in the table. SOURCE: Survey of departments carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. advertising was the most frequently cited action, followed by general advertising. These were followed by recruiting at conferences, contacting women directly, and using personal contacts and assistance from on-campus diversity offices. In addition, for most departments the total number of steps taken was not large. As shown in Table 3-10, 23 percent reported taking no specific action, and 43 percent reported taking just one. Only slightly more than 10 percent reported taking three or more steps. SuMMARy OF FINDINGS The analyses in this chapter reveal a number of important findings about the application, recruitment, interview, and hiring process.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING TABLE 3-10 Number of Policy Steps Taken by Departments Number of Departments Number of Steps Reported Taken 96 (23) 0 178 (43) 1 98 (24) 2 34 (8) 3 10 (2) 4 0 (0) 5 1 (0) 6 NOTES: Numbers in parentheses are the percentage of all responding depart- ments; 417 departments responded. Of these, 98 (24 percent) took two policy steps to increase the gender diversity of the candidate pool. SOURCE: Survey of departments carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. Applications Finding 3-1: Women accounted for about 17 percent of applications for both tenure-track and tenured positions in the departments surveyed. There was wide variation by field and by department in the number and percentage of female applicants for faculty positions. In general, the higher the percentage of women in the Ph.D. pool, the higher the percentage of women applying for each position in that field, although the fields with lower percentages of women in the Ph.D. pool had a higher propensity for those women to apply. The percentage of applicant pools that included at least one woman was substantially higher than would be expected by chance. However, there were no female applicants (only men applied) for 32 (6 percent) of the available tenure-track positions and 16 (16.5 percent) of the tenured positions. Finding 3-2: There are statistically significant differences in the percentage of women in the tenure-track and the tenured applicant pools across the six disciplines surveyed. Biology, chemistry, and mathematics had significantly higher percentages of female applicants than did all other disciplines. The percent- age of female applicants in civil engineering, physics, and electrical engineering was significantly lower. The percentage of females among applicants to tenured positions was similar to the percentage of females among applicants to tenure- track positions.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS Finding 3-3: In all six disciplines, the percentage of applications from women for tenure-track positions was lower than the percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to women. There were substantial differences among the disciplines. In civil engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, and physics, the percentage of women applying for faculty positions was only modestly lower than the percent- age of women receiving Ph.D.’s. However, in the fields with the largest represen- tation of women with Ph.D.s—biology and chemistry—the percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to women exceeded the percentage of applications from women by a large amount (Table 3-2). Finding 3-4: The median number of applications a department received for tenure-track jobs was 52 applications from men and 8 applications from women—or about 7 applications from men for every application from a woman. For tenured positions, the median number of applications a depart- ment received was 40 applications from men and 8 from women, for a ratio of 5 to 1. (Figure 3-1) Finding 3-5: For job openings where only individuals of one gender applied, the gender was more likely to be male. There were no female applicants (only men applied) for 32 tenure-track positions or about 6 percent of available posi- tions. Similar findings were seen for tenured positions. No women applied to 16 tenured jobs—or 16.5 percent of the positions. Most of the cases (29 of 32) when only men applied occurred in physics or the engineering fields. Finding 3-6: Five factors were associated with the probability that at least one female would apply for a position, including (1) the type of position (p < 0.0001); (2) the number of family-friendly policies in effect at the institution (p = 0.001); (3) a set of discipline indicators (p = 0.03); (4) prestige of the institution (p = 0.04); and (5) type of institution (approaches significance p = 0.08). No other factor was statistically associated with the probability of there being at least one female applicant. Recruitment Finding 3-7: Most institutional and departmental strategies for increasing the percentage of women in the applicant pool were not effective as they were not strong predictors of the percentage of women applying. The percentage of women on the search committee and whether a woman chaired the search, however, did have a significant effect on recruiting women. Most steps (such as targeted advertising and recruiting at conferences) were done in isolation, with almost two-thirds of the departments in our sample reporting that they took either no steps or only one step to increase the gender diversity of the applicant pool. (Tables 3-9 and 3-10)

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING Finding 3-8: The percentage of women on the search committee and whether a woman chaired the committee were both significantly and positively associ- ated with the percentage of women in the applicant pool (p = 0.01 and p = 0.02, respectively). Interviews Finding 3-9: Across all the positions—tenure-track or tenured—an average of four men and one woman were interviewed for any particular position. Our survey data allowed us to examine the actual behavior of departments for the 545 tenure-track and 97 tenured openings for which we have gender data for applicants, interviewees, offers, and ultimate hires. Finding 3-10: The percentage of women who were interviewed for tenure- track or tenured positions was higher than the percentage of women who applied. For each of the six disciplines in this study the mean percentage of females interviewed for tenure-track and tenured positions exceeded the mean per- centage of female applicants. For example, the female applicant pool for tenure- track positions in electrical engineering was 11 percent, and the corresponding interview pool was 19 percent. (Table 3-3) Finding 3-11: Although the percentage of women in interview pools across the six disciplines exceeded the percentage of women in applicant pools, no women were interviewed for 28 percent (155 positions) of the tenure-track and 42 percent (42 positions) of the tenured jobs. These figures are substantially higher than those for the men. However, the percentage of male applicants was much higher than the percentage of female applicants, and part of this number was comprised of cases for which there were no female applicants. In 23 percent of the tenure-track job openings (124 positions), at least 1 woman applied, yet no women were interviewed. In 25 percent of the tenured jobs (23 positions), at least 1 woman applied, but no women were interviewed. No men were interviewed for 3 percent (18 positions) of the tenure-track positions, and in one-half of those cases, there were no preceding male applicants; for 4 percent (4 positions) of tenured jobs, and in one-half of those cases, there were no preceding male applicants. Finding 3-12: For tenure-track positions, the percentage of actual interview pools in which only men were interviewed (no women) was smaller than would have been expected based on applications and interviews for the posi- tions surveyed for each of the six disciplines. For tenured positions, this was the case for three of the disciplines surveyed. Put another way, the percentage of actual interview pools in these disciplines including women was larger than would have been expected. For tenure-track positions, there were significant differences in electrical engineering (35 percent actual all-male interview pools compared to

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN FACULTy CAREERS 56 percent probability of all-male pools) and mathematics (13 percent actual pools compared to 33 percent probable pools). For tenured positions, there were significant differences, again, in electrical engineering (42 percent actual all-male interview pools compared to 62 percent probability of all-male pools); mathematics (39 percent actual compared to 44 percent probable); and physics (32 percent actual compared to 35 percent probable). This was not the case for the remaining disciplines, including biology (25 percent actual compared to 18 percent probable; civil engineering (46 percent actual compared to 35 percent probable); and chemistry, which had the greatest difference (50 percent actual compared to 24 percent probable). (Table 3-4) Job Offers Finding 3-13: For all disciplines the percentage of tenure-track women who received the first job offer was greater than the percentage in the interview pool. Women received the first offer in 29 percent of the tenure-track and 31 per- cent of the tenured positions surveyed. Tenure-track women in all these disciplines received a percentage of first offers that was greater than than their percentage in the interview pool. For example, women were 21 percent of the interview pool for tenure-track electrical engineering positions and received 32 percent of the first offers. This finding is also true for tenured positions, with the notable exception of biology, where the interview pool was 33 percent female and women received 22 percent of the first offers. (Tables 3-5 and 3-6) Finding 3-14: In 95 percent of the tenure-track and 100 percent of the ten- ured positions where a man was the first choice for a position, a man was ultimately hired. In contrast, in cases where a woman was the first choice, a woman was ultimately hired in only 70 percent of the tenure-track and 77 percent of the tenured positions. When faculty were asked what factors they considered when selecting their current position, the effect of gender was statis- tically significantly for only one factor—“family-related reasons.” (Figure 3-2; Tables 3-7 and 3-8) As several of these findings suggest, many women fare well in the hiring pro- cess at research-intensive institutions. If women apply for positions at research- intensive institutions, they have better-than-expected chances of being interviewed and receiving offers compared to male job candidates. The likelihood of receiving an interview and ultimately an offer was particularly high, relative to application rates, in fields where women were less well represented, such as engineering and physics. These findings suggest that many departments at research-intensive institutions, both public and private, are making an effort to increase the numbers and percentages of female faculty in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics. At the same time, women continue to be underrepresented in the applicant pool relative to their representation among the pool of recent Ph.D.s.

OCR for page 39
 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ACADEMIC HIRING The next chapter examines more fully the day-to-day lives of academics once they are hired, considering whether there are disparities by gender in the areas of faculty workload, institutional resources, and perceptions of departmental climate.