Women’s Uneven Progress in Academia

Problems and Solutions
  • Marianne A. Ferber
Part of the Innovations in Science Education and Technology book series (ISET, volume 15)


In order to better understand the present situation of women at research universities and to develop more effective strategies for increasing their representation as well as improving their status, it is useful to very briefly examine the history of women in academia. Recently more women than men have been earning B.A. and M.A. degrees, and they have also been earning a rapidly growing proportion of professional and Ph.D. degrees. Their representation among faculties at institutions of higher learning has also been increasing for several decades, and this is true at research institutions as well, although their numbers there have been growing less rapidly (see Table 1). Further, while the gender earnings gap in academia persists, it appears to have been declining. At the same time, however, favorable trends do not always continue.


Faculty Member Female Faculty Woman Faculty Tenure Track Senior Faculty Member 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

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  • Marianne A. Ferber

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