Report Documents the Attrition of Women Faculty as They Move Up the Academic Ladder

A new study by the New York Stem Cell Foundation and the University of Michigan offers stark data on the attrition of women faculty as they move up the academic ladder in STEM fields. Researchers evaluated the representation of women in STEM across more than 500 institutions over the past four years.

The results showed that despite the fact that women make up a majority of all students in STEM disciplines at both the undergraduate and graduate level, a vast gender gap exists in women faculty in these fields. The study found that women make up 42 percent of assistant professors, 34.2 percent of associate professors, and 23.4 percent of full professors. The study also found that women made up less than 10 percent of tenured faculty in nearly one-third of surveyed institutions. And the surveys indicated institutional gender equity did not improve over time. Among 71 institutions tracked over a period of more than 2 years, just over half improved their grades, but only by an average of 8 percent.

The authors conclude that “this data suggests that rather than recruiting women into STEM, the bigger issue appears to be retention and promotion of women into positions that allow them more influence, resources, and in turn, high-impact research.”

Filed Under: FacultyResearch/StudySTEM Fields


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