Women on the Tenure-Track
I just wanted to write a quick summary of my research paper, because I was amazed by my findings. A lot of the literature talks about how there are far greater men than women in the academia on tenure-track. In fact, some of the literature states that there are less women on the tenure-track, yet more women on non-tenure positions. Some people are under the impression that preset biases cause men to be hired at a much greater amount than women. However, others assume that there aren’t enough women interested in a tenure-track position. However, the literature suggests a variety of reasons.
First, I’d like to say that this information is solely based on data I got from research papers, and it isn’t my data in anyway. If you’re interested in some of the references, please comment and i’d be happy to post some of the papers. That being said, let’s move on to the findings.
What it boils down to is that there are less women trying to pursue tenure-track positions. They maybe interested in tenure-track positions. However, they don’t pursue them. You may think it’s because their male counterparts are hired more than them. However, according to an experiment performed, female candidates had a 2:1 preference while being hired. This in fact, was interesting to me… and caused me to research more. This piece of research in particular was published in 2015. This research can be found here. Despite this, a Nature article mentions that there are still ways to go until this means equality for women in the academia. This article is titled “Leading Scientists favor women in tenure-track hiring test”
However, the most interesting research was talking about the choice women have to make between their careers and having a family. Many times, it seems like having family is the biggest turn away from those who want a tenure-track career. A lot of these view are shaped by experiences in graduate school. Dr. Lodish recommends a change in the way females are handled in the academia, so more become tenure-track professors. This interesting paper can be found here. What he states in a nut-shell is it’s important to give women the support and mentor them while they’re in the academia. In addition, he advises people going on to graduate studies to make sure that their future advisors are tolerant of having a family. No student should be obligated to answer such questions.
In summary, it seems like if women successfully find it easier to balance their personal life and a tenure-track career, there will be more women on the tenure-track.