Women Are Making Vast Progress in Academic Psychology But Gender Gaps Remain

A new study by nearly 60 women psychologists led by June Gruber, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience of the University of Colorado, finds that women in the academic field of psychology are overrepresented at the undergraduate level, earn two-thirds of all Ph.D.s, and get a majority of tenure-track positions but ultimately remain underrepresented at senior levels.

The study finds that although substantial progress has been made, “women in psychological science who secure tenure-track positions publish less, are cited less, hold fewer grants, are less likely to be represented in the field’s most eminent roles, and do not earn salaries comparable with those of men.”

The study found that although pay at the assistant professor level was roughly equal for men and women in psychology, it widened as faculty moved through their careers: Women earned 88 percent of men at the associate professor level and 92 percent of men at the full professor level. Men published about 50 percent more research papers than women and this was more pronounced in the more influential journals.

The authors conclude that “the need to address the issues facing women in psychological science coincides with a particular cultural moment in the U.S. and global social history, one in which women are speaking out and taking action in an unprecedented way to address sexual harassment, financial and social inequality, and gender biases. As a field committed to the science of equality, psychology has the opportunity to be a leader to other disciplines in how best to create and maintain a culture of inclusion.”

The full study, “The Future of Women in Psychological Sciences,” was published on the website of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. It may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySTEM Fields

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