ERIC Number: EJ727480
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 0
Hitting the Maternal Wall
Williams, Joan C.
Academe, v90 n6 p16-20 Nov-Dec 2004
Women's lack of progress in academe is well documented: in its 1999-2000 report, the AAUP's Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession found "striking evidence of a distorted gender distribution by rank." Women are more likely than men to end up in low-paid, non tenure-track positions that are often a dead end. Women who do manage to secure tenure-track jobs are less likely than men to be at four-year colleges; those at four-year institutions are less likely to be at highly ranked research universities. Why? Part of the problem is gender bias, of two different types. The more familiar is the "glass ceiling" that prevents successful women from reaching the summit of their professions. But what exactly is the glass ceiling? Usually, it is defined demographically by documenting the dearth of women at the top. But why is there a dearth of women, when most academics--men as well as women--see themselves as committed to gender equality? Little information exists to help academic administrators who are determined to give women a fair shake. In conclusion, despite its high aspirations and ivory towers, academe is just another workplace. As such, it is not immune from gender stereotyping and cognitive bias. To combat the negative effects of stereotyping and create more equitable institutions, academic administrators need to reexamine hiring and promotion decisions for the tell-tale signs of workplace discrimination exposed by the studies discussed in this article.
Descriptors: Females, Gender Differences, College Faculty, Women Faculty, Gender Bias, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Higher Education, Mothers, Employed Parents, Tenure, Sex Stereotypes, Women Administrators, Competence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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