Study Finds No Gender Bias in Hiring of University Philosophy Faculty

It is generally believed that there is a large gender gap in favor of men in the field of philosophy. But a new study by Sean Hermanson, an associate professor of philosophy at Florida International University in Miami, finds that men and women are actually hired for full-time faculty positions in philosophy in proportion to the number of men and women earning doctoral degrees in the field.

Dr. Hermanson examined philosophy department hires in public and private universities throughout the United States and Canada since 2004. He found universities, regardless of status or name recognition, do not show gender bias in hiring philosophy professors.

Dr. Hermanson notes that in introductory courses in philosophy men and women enroll in equal numbers. But only about 30 to 35 percent of philosophy majors are women. Dr. Hermanson admits “there is an under-representation of women in the field. To understand under-representation, we need to understand where the leaks are in the pipeline.”

The full study, “Leaky Pipeline Myths: In Search of Gender Effects on the Job Market and Early Career Publishing in Philosophy,” was published on the website of the journal Frontiers in Psychology. It is available here.

Filed Under: FacultyResearch/Study


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