28% of Women in Higher Ed Believe They Were Not Promoted Because of Their Gender

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Being a woman in academe has its challenges.

Research shows that women are paid less than men are, perform a disproportionate amount of service work, struggle disproportionately with work-life balance, and have especially done so during the pandemic. In addition, women navigate a tenure system in which it’s already difficult for them to succeed.

According to data from a new survey of higher-education faculty and staff members, some women believe their gender is the culprit for many of their difficulties with career advancement.

Twenty-eight percent of women working at American colleges said they believed they had been passed over for a promotion or other opportunity because of their gender. The share of men expressing the same belief was only 11 percent.

Hispanic and Asian women were more likely than their peers to feel passed over because of their gender, the data show.

The data, which reflect responses to an October 2021 Gallup survey of 10,594 faculty and staff members at two- and four-year colleges, also show gender gaps in other areas. About a quarter of female faculty and staff members — compared with about three out of 10 men — strongly agreed that they had the same advancement opportunities as colleagues with the same level of experience and past performance as they possessed.

The survey’s findings are “a call to action for colleges and universities that have been silent on pay and advancement equity,” wrote Stephanie Marken, executive director of education research at Gallup, in a blog post. “It is more important than ever before that these institutions commit to creating an equitable and inclusive workplace.”

For more on the data, see below:

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