Home > Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work

The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work

By Joya Misra, Jennifer Hickes Lundquist, Elissa Holmes, & Stephanie Agiomavritis

How does a successful associate professor with a distinguished publication record, a visible leadership role among women scientists on campus, and prestigious grant funding for interdisciplinary initiatives in graduate and undergraduate training as well as research feel about seeking promotion to full professor? In the course of our research, we commonly heard, ?It feels like the first time in my life that I?m hitting up against the glass ceiling.? Compared with earlier cohorts, women are earning more doctorates, taking more academic jobs, and earning tenure more frequently. But when it comes to promotions to full professorship, our research confirms growing scholarship that women may hit a glass ceiling near the top of the ivory tower.

Men still hold more than three-quarters of full professorships in the United States, and women?s share of full professorships has increased only marginally over the last several decades. Women are less likely ever to be promoted to full professor than men, and their promotions take longer. A 2006 report of the Modern Language Association?s Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession, Standing Still: The Associate Professor Survey, showed that women professors in the association were less likely to be promoted than their male counterparts, and it took women from one to three and a half years longer than men to advance to full professorships, with women at doctoral universities lagging farthest behind.

National data across all disciplines confirm these findings. Indeed, University of Pennsylvania education researcher Laura Perna?s analysis of National Study of Postsecondary Faculty data reveals that, nationwide, women at four-year colleges and universities are 10 percent less likely than men to attain promotion to full professor, even after controlling for productivity (career-refereed publications), educational background, institution type, race, ethnicity, and nationality. Perna?s findings suggest that gender differences cannot simply be attributed to men being more productive researchers or having more experience than women. Instead, they point to entrenched institutional practices that may disadvantage women.

Continued at: http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/postings.php

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