Women Are Making Strides in Closing the Gender Gap in Faculty Positions in Higher Education

According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2017, there were 821,168 full-time instructional faculty members at degree-granting institutions in the United States. Of these, 380,326, or just over 46 percent, were women. Eight years earlier in 2009, women made up 43 percent of all instructional faculty.

The gender gap in faculty posts is most pronounced at the full professor level. In 2017 there were 184,023 full professors at degree-granting institutions. There were 60,408 women and 123,615 men in full professor posts. Thus, women made up only 32.8 percent of all full professors. This is actually lower than the percentage of women full professors in 2009.

In associate professor posts in 2017, there were 86,158 men and 71,662 women. So women were 45.4 percent of all associate professors. In 2009, women were 41 percent of all associate professors.

In 2009, men outnumbered women by a slim margin as assistant professors. But that has now changed. In 2017, women made up 51.8 percent of all assistant professors.

In the positions of instructor and lecturer women outnumbered men. In 2017, women were 56.6 percent of all instructors and 55.5 percent of all lecturers.


Filed Under: FacultyGender GapResearch/Study

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