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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty 4 Professional Activities, Institutional Resources, Climate, and Outcomes Once Ph.D.s have been hired into an academic position, it is natural to ask, what happens next? The milestones of an academic career are hiring, tenure, and promotion. In the context of these decisions, a primary question must be whether male and female faculty are treated similarly while they are employed. Is the day-to-day experience of being a faculty member similar for men and women? Equitable treatment and opportunity are important for several reasons. First, how a faculty member is treated affects the ability of that faculty member to do the best research and teaching of which he or she is capable. This in turn affects subsequent decisions on the part of the university about salary, tenure, and promotion. It also affects subsequent decisions on the part of the faculty member about whether to entertain outside offers and whether to leave that university for a position elsewhere. Furthermore, the equitability with which a faculty member is treated can contribute powerfully to whether a faculty member feels he or she is a central part of the enterprise, as well as to the faculty member’s sense of well-being and satisfaction with his or her professional life. As noted in Chapter 1, there was anecdotal evidence that women do not fare as well as men professionally, but such differences can be subtle and hard to detect. The survey data presented in this report will provide information that is relevant to this perception and will help clarify the current status for women in the six disciplines surveyed at research-intensive (Research I or RI) institutions. According to one commentator: The study initiated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) several years ago by Nancy Hopkins has now been replicated at several other institutions, including Cal Tech. The reports have shown that women in science and
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty engineering faculty are more likely to report that they feel marginalized and isolated at their institution, have less job satisfaction, have unequal lab space, unequal salary, unequal recognition through awards and prizes, unequal access to university resources, and unequal invitations to take on important administrative responsibilities, especially those that deal with the future of the department or the research unit. The fact that this study has been replicated at other institutions says that this is not an MIT specific problem. This is a generalized problem about the way women faculty at research-intensive universities experience their career environment. (Tilghman, 2004:9)1 This chapter examines variables that could contribute to a faculty member’s ability to excel at teaching and research. It asks about factors related to equitable treatment of male and female faculty at research-intensive institutions in the six disciplines surveyed, whether there are gender differences in salary, publications, or the inclination to remain at that university, and whether differential treatment accounts for any gender differences in salary, publications, or the inclination to move on. The variables of primary interest to us fall into three categories: professional life, institutional resources, and climate. Under professional life, we include how much of each of the following a faculty member does: the amount of research; the amount of teaching, advising, supervising, and mentoring; and the amount of service to the university or broader community. Under institutional resources sometimes provided to support a faculty member’s teaching and research, we include start-up funds, summer salary, travel funds, reduced teaching loads, laboratory space and equipment, and staff (postdocs, research assistants, clerical support). Under climate, we include variables that can contribute to a faculty member’s sense of engagement or marginalization within the department and the institution, such as whether the faculty member is mentored by more experienced colleagues, whether the faculty member is asked to contribute to important decisions in the department and the university, and whether a faculty member regularly engages in conversation about research and teaching with his or her colleagues. Three initial comments are necessary prior to proceeding with the assessment. First, there are dozens of factors that together comprise a faculty member’s job, from the number of students she teaches, to whether she has the newest equipment in her lab, to whether she thinks her peers are collegial. One major benefit that studies of hiring, tenure, and promotion have is that there is a dichotomous end point that helps to focus attention. The study of professional activities, institutional resources, climate, and outcomes lacks this. Therefore, anchoring the analysis is somewhat more challenging. Second, the following analysis is descriptive. Essentially, what is reported here about professional life, institutional resources, and climate is the average response of male and female faculty to a 1 Shirley Tilghman, 2004, “Ensuring the Future Participation of Women in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering,” in National Research Council, The Markey Scholars Conference: Proceedings, Washington, DC: National Academies Press, pp. 7-12.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty series of questions about their work habits and environment. In the final section of this chapter, we look at how professional life, institutional resources, and climate contribute to important outcomes, such as research productivity and salary. In these analyses, we attempt to control for as many factors as we can that might contribute to the outcome, but it is likely that there are additional relevant variables about which we have no data. Without all relevant controls accounted for in the analysis, the results need to be taken as preliminary and as an impetus for further, more sophisticated research, rather than a definitive statement on the existence of disparities between male and female faculty. Finally, it should be noted that the analyses presented here provide an aggregated, often average, view. That view is not inconsistent with some women having very few resources and some women having quite a lot, nor does it negate the possibility that individual women (or men) are discriminated against in their access to resources. The deviation around average individual accounts of satisfaction or dissatisfaction can reflect a difficult reality, even when the averages among male and female faculty are the same. The next three sections focus on professional activities, institutional resources, and climate issues. Professional activities include teaching, research, and service. Institutional resources cover a gamut of variables, including lab space, start-up packages, and research assistants. Climate focuses on such issues as mentoring and collegiality. Several of the above factors are further disaggregated into a variety of component elements. To study whether male and female faculty members reported different experiences on these dimensions and variables, we examine four types of information. First and foremost is our survey of faculty in six disciplines in RI institutions.2 A second valuable resource is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF), undertaken in 2004 (“NSOPF:04”).3 That survey queried respondents regarding the fall 2003 term and thus occurred in a similar timeframe as the faculty survey. The other two information sources used throughout the chapter are individual research studies undertaken by scholars and gender equity reports completed by RI institutions. After reviewing the three elements of day-to-day careers, we turn our attention to faculty outcomes. In the fourth section, we ask whether there are differences between male and female faculty in publication rates, grant funding, laboratory space (which is both an institutional resource and an outcome), nominations for honors and prizes, salary, outside offers, or the inclination to remain at the current institution, and which professional life qualities, institutional resources, 2 Because we performed a large number of t-tests on our faculty survey data, we will only report as significant those results with p < .05 in order to protect ourselves from false positives. Results near p < .05 will be reported as approaching significance. For the regression analyses on our survey data, reported in the final outcomes section of this chapter, we will report any results with p < .05 as significant. The reader will want to note that there are some instances in which the differences are statistically significant, but the absolute differences are quite small. 3 We also performed a large number of t-tests on the NSOPF:04 data, so we followed the rule for reporting significance in these data that is described in the previous footnote.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty or climate variables contribute to differences in these outcome variables. This section draws on research done by individuals or as part of institutional studies to examine the issues of retention and job satisfaction, as our survey did not gather data on these variables. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES In this section, we examine the three key areas of professional activities that characterize the day-to-day job of a faculty member: teaching, service, and research. Different departments weigh the value of these three activities differently, but in the Research I institutions, research is likely to be a primary concern. It is commonly believed that women spend more time teaching or performing service-related activities and less time on research than male faculty. A note about time spent in professional activities is necessary. There are two ideas here: how many hours male and female faculty work and how they divide up the time they spend. Several studies have looked at the number of hours male and female faculty work and have found they tend to work long hours and similar numbers of hours. For example, a self-assessment conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found both men and women work nearly 60 hours per week. The NSOPF:04 found that full-time, professoriate faculty at Research I institutions in science and engineering (S&E) worked about 58 hours per week on average (58.5 for women and 58.1 for men).4 Rather than ask faculty members how many hours they work, our survey asked respondents how they divide their time among research, teaching, and service. That is what we report here. Research It is often assumed that men spend a greater percentage of their time doing research than women. The percentage of time spent on research or scholarship was combined with percentage of time spent seeking funding in our survey data. Overall, men reported spending a slightly greater percentage of their time on research activities than women: 42.1 compared to 40.0 percent. This difference, while approaching significance, is quite small in absolute terms. Drawing on similar faculty from the NSOPF:04, there was no significant difference between men and women in the time spent on research activities: 43.2 compared to 39.7 percent.5 4 Data was created using the Department of Education’s Data Analysis System (DAS) available online at http://www.nces.ed.gov/dasol/. Gender was used as the row variable. The column variable was average total hours per week worked. Filters were only Research I institutions; full-time employed; with faculty status; assistant, associate, or full professors; with instructional duties for credit; and with principal fields of teaching as engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and computer sciences. 5 See previous footnote on how the DAS analysis was conducted.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty FIGURE 4-1 Mean percentage of time faculty spent on research (self-reported) by gender. SOURCE: Faculty survey carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. It is worth noting that the overall percentage of time faculty report spending on research activities is remarkably similar in the two surveys.6 Figure 4-1 shows the reported percentage time spent by faculty in research activities (including preparation of grant and contract proposals) disaggregated by gender and by discipline. Averages were computed over faculty who provided this information on the survey. To investigate whether there are differences in the percentage of time spent in research across disciplines or across genders, we fitted a simple linear model with percent time as the response variable and with discipline, gender, and the interaction between discipline and gender as the effects. We found no significant differences in percentage time spent in research, either across disciplines or between genders within discipline. Because comparing genders within discipline involved carrying out six comparisons, we used the Tukey-Kramer approach7 to adjust the individual p-values. The smallest of the six p-values was obtained when comparing men and women faculty in chemistry (p-value = 0.217). All other p-values were above 0.35. Please note that discipline and gender accounted for a very small (about 2 percent) proportion of the variability observed in self-reported time spent in research activities. Thus, these p-values 6 The committee acknowledges that the p-values for all the data presented for its faculty and departmental surveys are unadjusted and the fact that many of the data presented are interconnected. 7 Kramer, C.Y., 1956, Extension of multiple range tests to group means with unequal numbers of replication, Biometrics, 12, 307-310.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty are to be interpreted cautiously. A model in which other potential confounders are also included is presented later in this chapter. In the NSOPF:04 data, there were no significant gender differences in any of the aggregated disciplinary groups reported (biology, physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science). Teaching In this section, the percentage of time spent on teaching, the number of classes taught, and the number of students advised are examined for gender differences. It is often assumed that female faculty spend a greater percentage of their time on instructional duties than male faculty. Using the data from our faculty survey, the percentages of time men and women spent teaching and advising undergraduate and graduate students were combined and the average percentages were compared for men and women. Overall, female and male respondents reported spending approximately the same percentage of time on teaching and advising (men, 41.4 percent; women, 42.6 percent). The NSOPF:04 provided similar data: 44.2 percent for men and 42.0 percent for women. Here again, the percentages in the two surveys are remarkably similar. Disaggregated by field, the difference between men and women faculty is approaching significance in chemistry and civil engineering, with women reporting more time spent on teaching and advising than men. In the NSOPF:04 data, there were no significant differences between men and women in the aggregated fields reported (biology, physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science). Amount of Teaching Our faculty survey also asked respondents how many undergraduate courses they were teaching in the current term/semester. In general, answers ranged from zero to two. There were no significant differences in the average number of undergraduate courses men and women were teaching (men, 0.83 courses; women, 0.82 courses; see Appendix 4-1). The NSOPF:04 data presented a similar picture, with a lower average number of undergraduate courses for women (men, 0.7 courses; women, 0.6 courses). Looking at each of the six disciplines we surveyed, men were teaching marginally more undergraduate courses than women in electrical engineering; none of the other fields had significant differences between men and women. In the NSOPF:04 data, there were no significant gender differences in the teaching of undergraduate courses in the biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science. (There were too few cases to do this analysis for engineering faculty.) The above analyses were repeated for graduate courses. Faculty teach fewer graduate courses, so here the distinction is between faculty who were doing no
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty graduate teaching in the current term or semester and faculty who were doing some graduate teaching in the current term or semester. There was no significant difference found between men and women in terms of whether they were teaching graduate courses in our data (percent doing no graduate teaching: men, 50.8; women, 54.9; see Appendix 4-2.) or in the NSOPF:04 data (percent doing no graduate teaching: men, 46.8; women, 47.3). There was no significant difference in any of the six fields we surveyed between men and women faculty in terms of whether they are teaching graduate courses. The data approaches significance in physics, where men are less likely to be teaching graduate courses than women. We conducted a similar analysis of the NSOPF:04 data and found that men were significantly more likely to be teaching graduate courses in the biological sciences (men, 65.8 percent; women, 59.7 percent) and in the physical sciences (men, 37.3 percent; women, 29.6 percent). In mathematics and computer science, there was no significant difference between men and women in terms of whether they taught graduate courses (men, 52.9 percent; women, 55.4 percent). (There were too few cases to conduct this analysis for engineering faculty.) Finally, we explored whether gender is associated with the number of graduate thesis or honor thesis committees on which a faculty member serves. These data are shown in Appendix 4-6, and from the table, we see that the number of thesis committees on which faculty report serving is quite variable, ranging from zero all the way to 30. There appear to be some differences between men and women in terms of the numbers of committees on which they serve, but these differences appear to vary by discipline.8 The NSOPF:04 asked faculty how many hours they spent on thesis and dissertation committees, and men spent marginally more time than women (men, 1.8 hours; women, 1.3 hours). Service There is a general awareness that female faculty spend a greater proportion of their time serving on departmental, school, or university-wide committees than men. In looking at the percentage of time faculty spend on service work, we combined the percentage of time spent on administration or committee work within the university with service outside the university. Overall, there was no difference between men and women in the percentage of time spent on service (men, 14.4 percent; women, 15.4 percent; see Appendix 4-7.). The NSOPF:04 found similar percentages of time spent on service, with no difference between men and women faculty (men, 16.1 percent; women, 14.8 percent).9 8 The comparisons between men and women overall, and by discipline, in terms of the number of thesis committees a faculty member served on are not reliable, due both to small sample sizes and to the long-tailed distribution of this response; a few large values in response can strongly affect the comparison. 9 Note that the definition the NSOPF uses is different from the definition used in the faculty survey.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty Disaggregated by field, there appear to be no gender differences in the percentage of time spent on service in any of the six fields we surveyed (see Appendix 4-7). The NSOPF:04 found similar results (biology—men, 15.8 percent, women, 15.3 percent; physical sciences—men, 16.2 percent, women, 12.0 percent; and mathematics and computer science—men, 14.4 percent, women, 14.1 percent). Committee Service In addition to asking about the percentage of time spent on service, our faculty survey asked respondents how many committees they have served on. The view is that, in order to make committees more diverse, women are more frequently asked to serve on them, with the result that they serve on more committees than men do. The faculty survey asked respondents if they had participated in 10 types of departmental committees: undergraduate curriculum, graduate curriculum, executive, promotion and tenure, faculty search, fellowship, graduate admissions, facilities or space, program review, and “other.” An initial variable was created that summed participation on the nine identified committees. While the actual range was between zero and nine, few faculty served on more than six committees, and disaggregated by field, there were many cells which contained no faculty members. Therefore, faculty members who served on six or more committees were aggregated into one category of those serving on six or more committees, so that at least one faculty member fit into each cell when the respondents were disaggregated by gender and field. Overall, the average number of committees served on was similar for men (1.61 committees) and women (1.76 committees) (see Appendix 4-8). INSTITUTIONAL RESOURCES This section focuses on a single, general question: do male and female faculty receive similar institutional resources? To explore this question, we examine a number of different resources. In order, they are start-up packages received on joining a department, summer salary, travel funds, reduced teaching loads, lab space, equipment, and support staff, including access to graduate research assistants (RAs) and postdocs. Start-up Funds Start-up packages are given to new faculty hires. A number of elements can be found in start-up packages, which makes it important to define clearly what is being quantified. Systematic surveys of start-up funds began in earnest around 2000. Examples include surveys conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1999 and surveys conducted by the Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences—the New Hires Survey and the 2000 Big 10+ Chemical Engineer-
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty ing Chairs Survey. Summarizing their data, Ehrenberg and Rizzo (2004) write, “at research universities, these [start-up packages needed to attract new faculty members in the sciences] cost an average of $300,000 to $500,000 for assistant professors and often well over $1 million for senior faculty.” A survey of start-up funds conducted by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI) in 2002 found: At the new assistant professor level, with few exceptions, Carnegie Research I universities provide larger start-up packages than other universities in the sample, and private research universities provide larger start-up packages than public universities. When the departments are broken down into four broad fields, physics/astronomy, biology, chemistry, and engineering, the average reported start-up package for new assistant professors at private Research I universities varied across fields between $337,000 and $475,000. Estimates of the average high-end (most expensive) assistant professor start-up package costs at these institutions varied across fields from $587,000 to $725,000.10 The data on start-up funds that is disaggregated by gender has been collected by individual institutions. A 2003 task force report at Princeton University, which collected data from five S&E departments, concluded “in the five departments examined, we found no statistical support for gender differences in start-up space, current space, or start-up financial packages. However, we did detect certain patterns. For example, the largest start-up packages have generally gone to men.” Both the committee’s faculty survey and departmental survey requested data on start-up costs. On the faculty survey, faculty who were tenured or tenure-track and hired after 1996 were asked, “When you were first hired at this institution, how much were you given in start-up funds?” Respondents were asked to break down start-up costs into four categories: equipment, renovation of lab space, staff (e.g., postdocs), and other. Summer Salary The faculty questionnaire asked tenure-track or tenured faculty hired after 1996 whether they received summer salary funds when they were first hired at their current institution. Of those who responded, 71 percent of men and 68 percent of women indicated they did. When disaggregated by discipline, interesting differences appeared, with female faculty having a higher percentage in chemistry (81.8 percent compared to 71.2 percent for male faculty) who received summer 10 The 2002 Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI) Survey on Start-up Costs and Laboratory Allocation Rules: Summary of the Findings is available at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/cheri/surveys/2002surveyResults.html, accessed October 7, 2008. See also the presentation by Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo, and George H. Jakubson, “Who Bears the Growing Cost of Science at Universities?” presented at the 2003 Conference. See also Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Michael J. Rizzo, and Scott S. Condie, “Start-up Costs in American Research Universities,” CHERI working paper, WP-33, March 2003, Cornell University.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty salary; while in mathematics the reverse was true, with 42.9 percent of male faculty as contrasted with 29.1 percent of female faculty (see Appendix 4-10). Travel Funds The faculty questionnaire asked tenure-track or tenured faculty hired after 1996 whether they received travel funds when they were first hired at their current institution. Of those who responded, 56 percent of men and 59 percent of women indicated that they did (see Appendix 4-11). Again, there was no substantial gender difference at this level of aggregation. There were some differences for men and women among the six disciplines in terms of the percentages of people receiving travel funds initially. The survey also asked faculty respondents, “During the last five years, have you been given travel money by your department or institution to attend professional conferences or to conduct research offsite?” Of those who answered, approximately 42 percent of men and 43 percent of women answered yes. Reduced Teaching Loads Faculty may negotiate a reduced teaching load for an initial period after they are hired. New faculty often desire a reduced teaching load to allow them time to get settled in a new environment and to get their labs and their research set up and underway. The committee’s survey asked all tenure-track and tenured faculty hired after 1996 whether they had received a reduced teaching load when hired. A large majority of new faculty reported receiving a reduced teaching load when they were hired (see Appendix 4-3). However, there was not a significant difference between men and women, in terms of the percentage who received a reduced teaching load when hired in any of the six fields surveyed. Lab Space Much of the discussion on lab space stems from the 1999 MIT report, Report of the School of Science, which found an “unequal distribution” of resources, including lab space, allocated to women.11 This focused attention on the issue, and a number of other gender equity assessments at other universities have taken it up.12 Stanford’s report, for example, found no disparity in lab space: “The Provost’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women Faculty on Thursday issued a variety 11 Sara Rimer, “For Women in Science, Slow Progress in Academia,” New York Times, April 15, 2005. 12 See, for example, a thorough assessment conducted by New Mexico State University in 2003, “Space Allocation Survey,” available at http://www.advance.nmsu.edu/Documents/PDF/ann-rpt-03.pdf.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty of recommendations to strengthen the recruitment and retention of women faculty and, in a first-ever comprehensive analysis, has preliminarily found ‘insignificant’ differences between men and women in benefits and support such as laboratory space, equipment, start-up funds, research funds, and summer salaries” (James Robinson, Report: ‘No Pattern’ of Disparity Between Men, Women Faculty, Stanford Report, May 20, 2003).13 The University of Pennsylvania found mixed results: “With respect to the professional status of women faculty, the committee determined that at the more junior ranks women had more research space per grant dollar than men, but women full professors averaged somewhat less space per grant dollar14 than their male colleagues; in both SAS science departments and the School of Medicine, senior women faculty had about 85 percent of the space assigned to males.”15 Case Western Reserve found women had less lab space: “Despite these heavier workloads, participants believe that women often receive fewer benefits and support resources. Women tend to enter the university with more limited start-up packages…. They receive less space, have less access to graduate student assistance, and get fewer services from support staff.”16 However, quantitative data on lab space are hard to find. It is critical that it be measured, because, as Purdue’s report noted, it may be a perceptual or an actual discrepancy: Females responded differently than males on a number of these issues. However, most differences appear to simply reflect perceptual differences across the schools and the varying distribution of women in the schools (e.g., women are less satisfied than men with library resources, but this largely reflects the fact that Education and Liberal Arts schools, where faculty are the least satisfied with library resources, are also schools with relatively high proportions of women faculty). Taking into account these differences in gender representation across the schools, females are still less likely to believe that they have adequate laboratory space (48 percent) than are males (60 percent). In particular, women in agriculture, health sciences, and science are substantially less likely than their male counterparts to feel that they have adequate lab space.17 13 Available at http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2003/may21/womenfaculty-521.html. 14 Note that the University of Pennsylvania’s research used an unusual metric of research space per grant dollar. 15 University of Pennsylvania Gender Equity Committee, “The Gender Equality Report, Executive Summary, Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 14, December 4, 2001, available at http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v48/n14/GenderEquity.html. See the full report at: http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v48pdf/011204/GenderEquity.pdf. 16 CWRU Equity Study Committee, “Resource Equity at Case Western Reserve University: Results of Faculty Focus Groups,” March 3, 2003, pp. 46-47. Available at http://www.case.edu/president/aaction/resourcequity2003.doc. 17 Purdue conducted a survey in 2001, which asked female and male faculty whether they were satisfied with the amount of lab space. Women were less satisfied. (This is different from how much lab
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty and computer sciences, we found that men received marginally larger salaries than women at the full professor level. However, there was no significant difference between the salaries of male and female faculty at the associate professor or assistant professor level. This assessment of gender differences in base salaries did not control for disciplinary differences or academic age, both of which are likely to have gender differences in them. We were also interested in whether several additional variables predicted salary. To explore this, we again fitted a linear model to the log of base salary (9-month base), but now extended the list of explanatory variables in the model to include gender, discipline, faculty rank, type of institution (public or private), prestige of the institution, grant funding, publications (refereed journals and conference proceedings), academic age (defined as the time elapsed between award of the Ph.D. and December 2004), and all two-way interactions with gender. The model was fitted to the 753 observations with complete information for all covariates and resulted in an R2 equal to 0.64. Gender, discipline, rank, institution type, and prestige were considered classification variables; the remaining were included as continuous variables. A random effect for institution was included, but the institution variance component was negligibly small. Gender was not significantly associated with salary once other potential confounders were taken into account. Significant associations with salary were found for discipline (p < 0.0001), rank (p < 0.0001), prestige of the institution (p < 0.0001), type of institution (p < 0.0001), and grant funding (p = 0.002). The interaction between rank and gender was again significant (p = 0.02). Academic age and the interaction between grant funding and gender were approaching significance (p = 0.07 and p = 0.09, respectively). As would be expected, full professors reported larger salaries than associate professors, who reported larger salaries than assistant professors. The more time that had elapsed since a faculty member received a Ph.D., the higher the salary, regardless of rank. The highest prestige institutions across all disciplines pay higher salaries than medium-prestige institutions, which in turn pay higher salaries than the lowest prestige institutions. Private institutions pay higher salaries than public institutions. There was a positive association between grants and salary. Everything else being equal, a faculty member who increases his or her funding by a factor of 2.7 in a year would be linked with a 0.6 percent increase in salary. For a $75,000 annual salary, this would amount to an increase of $450, and so while this relationship is statistically significant, it has little practical significance. While the association between the number of publications and salary was not statistically significant, it was at least positive. Once again, please note that the discussion here somewhat overshoots the capabilities of our surveys. Because our surveys were cross-sectional, a conclusion stating that a faculty member who, over time, increases funding will also see an increase in her salary implies a longitudinal effect that our data cannot capture. Thus, these results, while plausible, must be cautiously interpreted.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty Although women and men at a given rank appear to be compensated at similar levels (this does not apply for full professors), women may be at a disadvantage if they are less likely to be promoted to higher ranks. This topic is addressed in Chapter 5, where we found no evidence of differences among men and women in terms of promotion to higher ranks in our sample of full-time faculty at Research I institutions. Outside Offers Faculty retention and attrition focus on the likelihood that faculty will remain in a department. Some mobility is to be expected. Some faculty will move from one academic job to another or from academia to a position outside academia (e.g., in industry). Some faculty will leave departments to retire or because they are ill. The most problematic kind of attrition involves faculty who leave because they feel unwelcome. These faculty members have not failed, but they also have not fit in, and the departments they leave have invested time, money, and other resources that can be lost. For example, “new hires who leave their units in the first or second year end up costing programs tens of thousands of dollars in recruitment costs, moving expenses, start-up packages, and more” (Bugeja, 2004). The loss of a faculty member may also lead to a lost faculty line, as the faculty member might not be replaced. It is often thought that female faculty attrition is greater than male faculty attrition, but the evidence is mixed (August, 2006; August and Waltman, 2004; Carter et al., 2003; Cohoon, et al., 2003; Trower and Chait, 2002; Yamagata, 2002). One way to examine retention issues, generally, is to ask faculty whether they have received outside offers or whether they are considering leaving their department.26 The survey asked tenured faculty whether they had “received an offer to leave their current institution in the last 5 years.” Overall, the fraction of men and women reporting that they had received one or more offers was almost identical (32.7 percent of women and 32.5 percent of men.) There were no differences between men and women in biology and civil engineering (see Appendix 4-23). In chemistry and physics, a greater percentage of men than women reported they had received at least one offer to leave their current institution. This was reversed in mathematics and electrical engineering, where more women than men reported receiving one or more outside offers. We looked at what factors contribute to getting outside offers. The response variable was considered to be dichotomous: zero, or one or more offers to leave the institution. The results of this analysis must be very carefully interpreted, 26 Note that one reason to get an outside offer is to put pressure on a faculty member’s current department to match a better offer. The faculty member might not actually want to leave his or her current department.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty because clearly the people who received offers and stayed were the “happy” ones. Therefore, any statements regarding the effect of factors on offers to leave need to be qualified by noting that the findings are conditional on the fact that faculty remained at their institutions, whether they had offers or not. In this analysis, we tried to investigate the effects of discipline, gender, rank, type of institution, prestige of the institution, whether the faculty member had a mentor, and the faculty member’s productivity in terms of grant funding and publications on retention. However, we found that only 526 respondents (out of a total of 1,404 full-time assistant, associate, or full professors) had complete information for all covariates. Furthermore, only one male assistant professor and no female assistant professors reported receiving one or more offers to leave. Thus, we restricted attention to the 526 associate and full professors who had complete covariate information, and we fitted a model that included all the covariates of interest. The probability of receiving at least one outside offer was not different for men and women of any rank or across disciplines. In general, the probability of receiving one or more offers to leave was not associated with many of the covariates. The only two associations we found were with prestige of the institution and with research funding. As one might anticipate, faculty in institutions of medium or high prestige were more sought after than those at institutions of lower prestige (p < 0.001). Faculty with more research funding were also more likely to receive one or more outside offers. For every additional $1,000 in research funding, the probability of having received at least one outside offer increased by about 1 percent. Job Satisfaction Job satisfaction is heavily intertwined with climate issues. Job satisfaction may be viewed as the expression of a faculty member’s perception of engagement, power, treatment, and role, as well as departmental and institutional policies and procedures. It is a large and subjective area to tap into. It can also be a causal factor, affecting such outcomes as productivity and retention. Indeed, it seems likely that job satisfaction mediates, at least in part, between professional activities, institutional resources, and climate on the one hand, and the various outcome variables on the other. However, because we did not measure job satisfaction in our survey, we cannot test this possibility directly. Satisfaction Data Traditionally, most information on job satisfaction comes from surveys or focus group meetings undertaken by individual institutions or from the NSOPF. The results of many of these surveys suggest that women’s job satisfaction falls below men’s (Holden, 2001; Trower and Chait, 2002). Two recent national surveys have examined satisfaction with academic careers.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty The NSOPF:04 asked several questions regarding satisfaction, although it did not probe very deeply into issues of workplace satisfaction. Four questions and responses from this survey are shown in Table 4-3. The mean responses show that female faculty are significantly less satisfied with their salaries and workloads than male faculty. Women are marginally less satisfied than men with their jobs overall. Men and women do not differ in their satisfaction with their benefits. This latter point is important, because some have interpreted the frequent finding that women are less satisfied with their jobs as indicating that women are generally more dissatisfied than men (or are more willing to express their dissatisfaction). The data in Table 4-3 show that women are less satisfied than men in particular areas rather than as a more general matter. The Study of New Scholars, “Tenure-Track Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey (Trower and Bleak, 2004)”27 examined full-time tenure-track faculty at six research universities. Important findings of the survey included “Females were significantly less satisfied than males with the following: Elements of work and expectations; Expectations for how to spend time; Expectations for research output; Expectations for the amount of outside funding needed; Time available for research; Resources available to support work; and Professional assistance for proposal writing and locating outside funds. Relationships Commitment of the department chair to their success; Commitment of senior faculty to their success; Interest senior faculty take in their professional development; Opportunities to collaborate with senior faculty; Professional interactions they have with senior colleagues; Quality of mentoring they receive from senior faculty; and How well they fit in their department. Diversity, Salary, Work–Life Balance Racial diversity of the faculty in their department; Ethnic diversity of the faculty in their department; Salary; and Balance between their personal and professional lives (p. 2).” 27 The report, focusing on gender, is available at http://www.gseacademic.harvard.edu/~coache/downloads/SNS_report_gender.pdf.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty TABLE 4-3 Satisfaction of Faculty with Employment by Gender Satisfaction Very Satisfied (%) Somewhat Satisfied (%) Somewhat Dissatisfied (%) Very Dissatisfied (%) Satisfaction with benefits Male 37.8 40.6 16.9 4.7 Female 38.6 42.6 12.7 6.1 Satisfaction with salary Male 25.4 43.4 22.1 9.1 Female 20.1 38.2 27.6 14.1 Satisfaction with workload Male 34.7 42.6 18.5 4.3 Female 23.2 50.8 20.2 5.8 Satisfaction with job overall Male 44.1 41.3 12.3 2.3 Female 39.1 45.3 13.4 2.2 SOURCE: National Center for Educational Statistics, 2004 National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF-04). Tabulation by NRC. Individual universities have found similar results through surveys on their campuses. A 2002 survey of faculty at UCLA found the following: “Compared to male faculty, women feel less influential, rate their work environment as less collegial, view the evaluation process as less fair, feel less informed about academic advancement and resource negotiation, and rate the distribution of resources as less equitable.”28 Dissatisfaction is an important concern. First, it is an obstacle to the success of faculty efforts in all areas of professional activities. It can have a negative effect on the collegiality and group decision making of a department. It may also be picked up on by undergraduate and graduate students, who may in turn feel discouraged about academic careers. While dissatisfaction may reflect problems in the workplace environment, it may also reflect pressures outside the workplace that affect women more than men and make it harder for them to get their work done. Planning to Leave or Retire Faculty who are planning to leave or retire, particularly the former, may be indicating that they are dissatisfied with their current work situation. Our survey asked faculty whether they were planning on leaving or retiring from their 28 Gender Equity Committee on Academic Climate, 2003. An Assessment of the Academic Climate for Faculty at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA: University of California at Los Angeles.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty current institution.29 The variable was dichotomous; either the faculty member was not planning to leave or retire or they were. Out of 1,404 full-time faculty respondents, 171 did not provide an answer to this question, and the percentage of missing observations was essentially the same among men and women (13 percent compared to 11 percent, respectively). Both in general and disaggregated by field, there were no differences between men and women in their responses about whether they were planning to leave or retire (overall—men, 36.2 percent; women, 38.8 percent). Appendix 4-24 shows the percentage of men and women in each discipline who have indicated that they are not considering leaving or retiring from the institution. Since a larger percentage of men than women should be reaching retirement age, these data may suggest that more women than men are thinking of leaving their current institution for nonretirement reasons. To get a clearer look at those faculty whose thoughts about leaving may more directly reflect dissatisfaction with their professional situation, we examined the percentage of faculty who were both planning to leave and had offers to leave in the past 5 years. We reasoned that faculty who were retiring were likely to respond positively to planning to leave but negatively to having recent offers to leave. Faculty who wished to change jobs were more likely to respond positively to both questions. There was no significant gender difference in the percentage of men and women overall who fit both conditions (men, 49 percent; women, 58 percent). Disaggregated by field, the difference between men and women was significant only in the case of electrical engineering, in which women were more likely than men to be considering leaving and to have received an outside offer. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS This chapter examined the day-to-day life of a full-time academic in S&E at Research I institutions. Principal findings can be found in four areas: professional activities, institutional resources, climate, and outcomes. Professional Activities Finding 4-1: There is little evidence overall that men and women spent different percentage of their time on teaching, research, and service. There is some indication that men spent a larger proportion of their time on research and fundraising than did women (42.1 percent for men compared to 40 percent for women). However, the difference only approaches significance, and the actual percentages of time that male and female faculty reported spending on research were not very different, with the exception of chemistry, for which men spent a signifi- 29 In future studies, these two events should be separated, because male faculty tend to be older and are more likely to retire, while female faculty tend to be younger and are less likely to leave due to retirement.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty cantly greater percentage of their time on research and fundraising (45.7 percent) than did women (39 percent) and mathematics (44.2 percent for men compared to 38.2 percent for women). (Figure 4-1) Finding 4-2: Male and female faculty appeared to have taught the same amount (41.4 percent for men compared to 42.6 percent for women). There were no gender differences in the number of undergraduate or graduate courses men and women taught: 0.83 undergraduate courses for men compared to 0.82 undergraduate courses for women. The percentages not teaching graduate courses were 50.8 percent for men and 54.9 percent for women. (Appendix 4-2) Institutional Resources Finding 4-3: Men and women seem to have been treated equally when they were hired. The overall size of start-up packages and the specific resources of reduced initial teaching load, travel funds, and summer salary did not differ between male and female faculty. Finding 4-4: Male and female faculty supervised about the same number of research assistants and postdocs. (Appendix 4-5) Finding 4-5: There were some resources where male faculty appeared to have an advantage. These included the amount of laboratory space (considering both faculty overall and only those who do experimental research), access to equipment needed for research, and access to clerical support. At first glance, men seemed to have more lab space than women, but the difference disappeared once other factors such as discipline and faculty rank were accounted for. Insofar as the research a faculty member does is dependent on these resources, and the ability to accomplish as much as possible in turn determines his or her overall success, gender differences in these institutional resources could lead to gender differences in success. At the same time, it should be noted that the apparent gender differences in access to these resources may reflect differences in access based on discipline or rank, because some disciplines and ranks have a higher perecntage of male faculty, and those disciplines and ranks could also have more lab space and equipment. This suggestion is supported by the finding that grant funding and research type (experimental versus nonexperimental) were significantly associated with the allocation of lab space. Since there are proportionately more male faculty than female faculty in some disciplines than in others, and since there are proportionately more male faculty than female faculty among full professors than among associate and assistant professors, it seems likely that the simple gender difference in lab space is actually a function of discipline and rank differences, as well as prestige of the institution. (Figure 4-2)
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty Climate Finding 4-6: Female tenure-track and tenured faculty reported that they were more likely to have mentors than male faculty. In the case of tenure-track faculty, 57 percent of women had mentors compared to 49 percent of men. (Figure 4-6) Finding 4-7: Female faculty reported that they were less likely to engage in conversation with their colleagues on a wide range of professional topics. These topics included research, salary, and benefits (and, to some extent, interaction with other faculty members and departmental climate). This distance may prevent women from accessing important information and may make them feel less included and more marginalized in their professional lives. Male and female faculty did not differ in their reports of discussions with colleagues on teaching, funding, interaction with administration, and personal life. Finding 4-8: There were no differences between male and female faculty on two measures of inclusion: chairing committees (39 percent for men and 34 percent for women) and being part of a research team (62 percent for men and 65 percent for women). (Appendix 4-4 and 4-5) Outcomes Finding 4-9: Overall, male faculty had published marginally more refereed articles and papers in the past 3 years than female faculty, except in electrical engineering, where the reverse was true. Men had published significantly more papers than women in chemistry (men, 15.8; women, 9.4) and mathematics (men, 12.4; women, 10.4). In electrical engineering, women had published marginally more papers than men (women, 7.5; men, 5.8). The differences in the numbers of publications between men and women were not significant in biology, civil engineering, and physics. All of the other variables related to the number of published articles and papers (discipline, rank, prestige of institution, access to mentors, and time on research) show the same effects for male and female faculty. (Figure 4-7) Finding 4-10: Although men were somewhat less likely to be a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on a grant proposal than were women, this difference disappeared when other variables were added in a regression analysis, where male and female faculty did not differ on the probability of having grant funding. Furthermore, because the effect of gender was confounded with the effect of rank and whether the person had a mentor, it is essentially impossible to isolate the effect of gender. The variables that appear to be associated with the probability of having a grant (discipline, faculty rank, being at a high- or
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty medium-prestige university, and spending more time on research) had the same effect on male and female faculty. (Figure 4-8) Finding 4-11: Male faculty had significantly more research funding than female faculty in biology; in the other disciplines, the differences between male and female faculty were not significant. There was no overall difference in the amount of grant funding received by male and female faculty, but there was a significant interaction between gender and discipline. The other variables related to the amount of grant funding (faculty rank, whether a faculty member is at a private university, whether a faculty member is at a university of higher prestige, having a mentor, and publishing more) were related in the same way for male and female faculty. Finding 4-12: Female assistant professors who had a mentor had a higher probability of receiving grants than those who did not have a mentor. In chemistry, female assistant professors with mentors had a 95 percent probability of having grant funding compared to 77 percent for female assistant professors in chemistry without mentors. A similar but weaker pattern is exhibited for female associate professors. Over all six fields surveyed, female assistant professors with no mentors had a 68 percent probability of having grant funding compared to 93 percent of women with mentors. This contrasts with the pattern for male assistant professors; those with no mentor had an 86 percent probability of having grant funding compared to 83 percent for those with mentors. (Appendix 4-20a and 4-20b) Finding 4-13: Overall, male and female faculty were equally likely to be nominated for international and national honors and awards, but the results varied significantly by discipline, making interpretation challenging. The other variables affecting the likelihood of being nominated for honors and awards (discipline, faculty rank, prestige of university, number of publications) affected this likelihood in the same way for male and female faculty. (Appendix 4-22) Salary Finding 4-14: Gender was a significant determinant of salary, but only among full professors. Male full professors made, on average, about 8 percent more than women, once we controlled for discipline. At the associate and assistant professor ranks, the differences in salaries of men and women disappeared. When we looked more broadly at variables that might predict salary, we found the following predicted salary in addition to discipline and rank: academic age (the amount of time between receipt of a Ph.D. and December 2004); prestige of the university; type of university (private versus public); and amount of grant funding. All these variables predicted salary in the same way for male and female faculty,
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty with the exceptions of rank and grant funding, for which the beneficial effect of a grant was more pronounced for women. Other Job Offers Finding 4-15: Differences in the probability of receiving an outside offer for male and female faculty depended on discipline. In electrical engineering and in mathematics, women were more likely to have received an outside offer, while the trend was reversed in chemistry and physics. Men and women reported approximately the same probability of having received at least one outside offer in biology and civil engineering. The only two variables that predicted the likelihood of receiving an outside offer were prestige of the institution and the amount of grant funding, which demonstrated the same effect for male and female faculty. (Appendix 4-23) Finding 4-16: There was no gender difference among faculty who were planning to leave and who had received an outside offer in the past 5 years,30 except in electrical engineering, where women were more likely than men to be planning to leave and to have received a recent outside offer. The committee viewed these data as a measure of faculty dissatisfaction. (Appendix 4-24) In this chapter, we set out to inquire if there were gender differences in the day-to-day academic lives of male and female faculty members. We wanted to determine if there were differences in professional activities, institutional resources, and climate, and if these influenced various important outcomes. Perhaps the most noteworthy finding is how much more similar the lives of male and female faculty seem to be based on our surveys, compared to the striking differences found in earlier research. The survey data indicate the importance of not simply relying on anecdotal information or past, individual experiences and emphasize the complexity of issues such as resource allocation and climate. The overall data from this study send a positive signal about the institutional climates at Research I institutions, and this should encourage young women as well as men to pursue academic careers in math, science, and engineering, with the new awareness that their abilities rather than their gender will influence their experiences and their ultimate academic success. Although the survey results do indicate that male and female faculty are encountering comparable opportunities in many ways, it is important to remember that these are group data. There may very well continue to be women who are experiencing fewer opportunities and less positive outcomes, at least in part because of their gender. Clearly, our survey questions, while extensive, were not exhaustive, and there were many areas not addressed. 30 However, planning to leave or receiving outside offers are less than ideal proxies for job satisfaction. For example, faculty may plan to leave a position to retire.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty Finally, this chapter focused only on the academic environment. There are other important factors not included in our survey that influence the participation and success of women faculty, particularly aspects of their personal lives such as family obligations. We hope that future research will be able to shed light on these critical areas.