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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 All Doctorate-Granting Institutions (percent)

1999-2003 Research I Institutions Only (percent)

Mean Percentage of Female Applicants for Tenure-Track Positions (percent)a




26 (8, 25, 50)




18 (6, 15, 39)

Civil Engineering



16 (0, 10, 100)

Electrical Engineering



11 (0, 10, 22)




20 (9, 20, 34)




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 percentage 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 comparable. 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


For a discussion of how to define the “pool of qualified candidates,” see NAS, NAE, and IOM (2007).

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