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Women in the Profession in Higher Education

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Members of music faculties, men and women alike, now have a whole new kind of homework to do—required reading that involves plodding through federal laws and amendments, through statistical tables and reports—to determine how and to what extent departmental practices conform to the new laws designed to eliminate discrimination in academe.

This legislation includes the following:1

  1. Executive Order 11246, as amended, which prohibits discrimination in hiring, upgrading, salaries, fringe benefits, training and other matters on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sex. This executive order applied to all institutions receiving federal aid of $10,000 or more per year. As amended, the ruling now requires written affirmative action plans, including numerical goals and timetables.
  2. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act extends the same coverage to all institutions.
  3. The Equal Pay Act as amended in 1972 prohibits discrimination in salaries and fringe benefits on the basis of sex, with no exemptions.
  4. Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 governs admission of students. This law prohibits discrimination because of sex in the admission of students in all institutions receiving federal monies by way of grant, loan or contract. Not only are admission procedures to be free of any sex bias, all areas related to admissions must equally be free of bias.

Not only do these laws spell out goals, but procedures for working toward these goals as well. Because all of these laws have enforcement provisions, ignorance of them or non-compliance can be risky.

Does discrimination exist? Indeed it does. And for women, for whom statistics are relatively easy to gather, much evidence is available, and the implications are clear. The statistics on women in music are not yet available, but the Committee on the Status of Women of College Music Society expects that within this coming year, a study will be made. Thus the statistics which you have in the Appendix are for all disciplines throughout the United States.

The sources of these statistics are two parallel studies by Alan E. Bayer, both under the aegis of the American Council on Education, both using similar if not identical research procedures to generate two comparative studies, one for the year 1968-69,2 the second for 1972-73.3 The original figures from Bayer are presented in two separate scales, one for men and one for women, each totaling 100%. I have converted these statistics so that the combined figures for men and women equal 100%, of which approximately 20% are women. Therefore, in comparing statistics for men and women, the 80-20 percentage must be kept in mind. For example, under the item "Tenure" you will find that of the 20% who are women, 10.1% have tenure or approximately half; of the 80% who are men, 53.9% are tenured, or approximately two-thirds.

Let us examine for a moment this 80-20 ratio. Women are now 40% of the total national work force, but only 20% of the total faculty in higher education. Why this discrepancy? Surely more and more women are being educated. In actual numbers, yes, but proportionately to men, no. I quote from a study by the members of the Project on the Status and Education of Women of the American Association of Colleges: "The percentage of women undergraduates . . . is still less now than in 1920; the percentage of women graduate students is less than it was in 1930; the percentage of women faculty is less now than in 1930."4

And the ACE reports (see Appendix) show very little change from 1968 to 1972. "In spite of the presumed implementation of affirmative action programs in higher education, the proportion of blacks among teaching faculty has increased only slightly: from 2.2 percent in 1968-69 to 2.9 percent in 1972-73. For women on the faculty, there has been not so much an increase as a redistribution, with the proportions decreasing at two-year and four-year colleges and increasing slightly at universities."5

Why these relative declines in the recruitment of women into academe? The answers might be found in several areas. First, some of the stricter and more enforceable provisions of the laws are brand new. Second, there is an understandable time lag between enactment and enforcement of slightly older laws. Third, within the past two years, the job market has been virtually nil. Fourth, old practices die hard, and old attitudes persist long after the objective situation no longer justifies them.

Let us look at the figures more closely. In the years 1960-69 women earned 13.5% of the total doctorates in music, that is, in a ratio of about 1 woman to 7 men.6 These women survived an obstacle race that has had special conditions for women. The small proportion of doctorates may result in part from inequitable distribution of fellowship and grant monies. The figures on p. 2 of the statistical tables show women receiving teaching assistantships in the proportion of 1 to 6, fellowships in the proportion of 1 to 5, grants for research in which they are the principal investigators in the proportion of about 1 to 9.

It has been suggested that a series of assumptions by women about themselves has discouraged women from applying for grants and stipends, and a series of assumptions about women has mitigated against favorable consideration of their applications.

One of these assumptions about women is that they are likely to leave the work force at some time for family reasons. However, a study of women doctorates7 has shown that 91% of women doctorates are working, 81% of them full time, 79% of them without interruption in the ten years after obtaining the doctorate. Today, if a member of an appointments committee decides against a qualified woman because of the assumption that women leave work for family reasons, that person is not only wrong in his or her assumption, but now is breaking the law—even if the applicant is seven months pregnant!

For the law now states that no criteria based on sex-stereotypes may be used in deciding about qualified candidates. No questions about marital status or family responsibilities may be asked of women that are not asked of men, and no distinctions may be made on this basis. You might notice on page 2 of the statistics that the proportion of both men and women with employed spouses is high and very close—39% of the men, and 44% of the women.

Women are in the ratio of 1 in 6 in administrative positions (see Appendix). This is probably an advance, although comparable figures for 1968 were not given. As for rank, the largest concentration of men was at the assistant professor level in '68 but now is at the full professor level. Women had their highest concentration at the instructor's level in '68 and have now moved up one notch, to assistant professorships. Similar changes have occurred with salaries. However, a statistic not clearly reflected here is significant. Women faculty on a national scale are underpaid an average of $2500 per annum compared to their male counterparts, according to an HEW statistic.8 This same report goes on to say that if women were to take action on this inequity, they could win between 150 and 200 million dollars in back pay! Women have begun to take action, have been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars so far. Today, unequal pay for equal work, in academia as well as elsewhere, is against the law.

Tenure is another area in which women have made some gains, but no gains in relation to men, whom they trailed to begin with. In 1968, almost half of the male faculty was tenured; in 1972, about two-thirds. Women have advanced from about a third who are tenured to one-half who are tenured. Men advanced to tenure at a higher rate than women—14% for men compared to 3% for women.

Another set of figures shows that, in proportion to their numbers, women carry a higher proportion of the teaching load than men for both 1968 and 1972. Thus, women work longer hours for less pay. Chivalry indeed!

Women have not published in comparable proportion to men. However, a study has shown that married women are more productive in this regard than unmarried women or men.9 It has been suggested that articles submitted by women receive less favorable consideration for that reason. Could this be related to the scarcity of women on editorial boards? Could the statistics on grants have any relationship to the lack of women on foundation review boards?10 Could the lowered percentages of women in all areas of academe be related to the low percentages on faculties, faculty committees including appointments? How many women faculty are consulted about recommendations for graduate schools and for grants and stipends? Hopefully, all this is beginning to change, given the new laws, the legal requirements for change after complaints have been filed, and a desire for change to forestall complaints of non-compliance.

And finally, attitudes of women about themselves and the value of their work need to change, and are changing. However, a recent report stated:

A survey of college seniors throughout the country has disclosed that 44.6 percent of the men but only 29.4 percent of the women planned to go to graduate and professional schools—even though the women generally had better grades.

Furthermore, the study of 21,000 college students by the Educational Teaching Service showed that women had a lower level of self-confidence than the men and received less encouragement from their friends and relatives to pursue advanced work.11

 

David Truman, President of Mount Holyoke, has written about the vicious cycle caused by the lack of role models for women. Among the many subtle discouragements for women not the least is the lack of visibility of other women of achievement. Quoting a study of women achievers, Truman noted that a positive, well-nigh perfect correlation exists between women achievers and the proportion of women on the faculties of the institutions in which they were students.12

Thus, in these times when college enrollments are expected to level off, it may be that many able women heretofore discouraged from high achievements in academe can be now encouraged to enter and to go on to advanced work if they have equal access to all benefits, adequate numbers of women faculty and administrators as role models, and thus equal expectations of work fulfillment.

 

 

Appendix:

COMPARATIVE STATISTICS FOR MEN AND WOMEN IN 2433 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

  1968   1972
PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL    
  MEN WOMEN   MEN WOMEN
  80.9% 19.1%   80.0% 20.0%



TYPE OF ACADEMIC POSITION: for 1972 only
  MEN WOMEN
Administrative 9.7% 1.7%
Teaching 65.0% 17.3%
Research 3.7% 0.8%
Other 1.5% 0.7%



RANK OF TEACHING FACULTY
  1968   1972
  MEN WOMEN   MEN WOMEN
Professor 19.8% 1.0%   24.2% 2.2%
Associate Professor 17.7% 3.0%   20.1% 4.2%
Assistant Professor 22.8% 5.5%   19.0% 6.2%
Instructor 13.2% 6.6%   8.3% 4.9%
Lecturer 2.7% 0.9%   1.8% 0.8%
No rank 2.7% 0.6%   5.6% 1.3%
Other 1.9% 0.7%   1.1% 0.4%



EMPLOYMENT STATUS: for 1972 only
  MEN WOMEN
Full time 76.9% 18.4%
Part time, but more than half time 0.7% 0.6%
Half time 0.6% 0.5%
Less than half time 1.7% 0.5%
National average for part time faculty 3.0% 1.6%



SALARY
  1968   1972
  MEN WOMEN   MEN WOMEN
Below $7,000 5.0% 3.3% $6,500 or less 1.6% 1.1%
$7,000-$9,999 17.6% 8.7% $6,600-$9,500 3.5% 3.5%
$10,000-$11,999 16.7% 3.4% $9,600-$11,500 8.3% 4.3%
$12,000-$13,999 14.1% 1.9% $11,600-$13,500 13.0% 3.5%
$14,000-$16,999 12.5% 1.2% $13,600-$15,500 13.2% 2.6%
$17,000-$19,999 7.4% 0.4% $15,600-$17,500 11.7% 1.8%
$20,000-$24,999 5.1% 0.2% $17,600-$19,500 8.7% 1.1%
$25,000 and over 2.5% 0.1% $19,600-$21,500 6.2% 0.6%
      $21,600-$24,500 5.6% 0.5%
      $24,600 and over 8.6% 1.1%



TENURED FACULTY  
  1968   1972
  MEN WOMEN   MEN WOMEN
  39.5% 7.2%   53.9% 10.1%



NUMBER OF CLASS HOURS PER WEEK
  1968   1972
  MEN WOMEN   MEN WOMEN
None or no answer 6.4% 1.5% None or no answer 5.1% 1.5%
1 to 4 13.1% 2.8% 1 to 4 10.0% 1.8%
5 to 8 21.7% 3.4% 5 to 8 18.6% 3.2%
9 to 12 22.9% 6.3% 9 to 12 22.6% 5.6%
13 or more 16.8% 5.7% 13 to 16 13.0% 4.4%
      17 or more 10.6% 3.4%



HIGHEST DEGREES HELD
  1968   1972
  MEN WOMEN   MEN WOMEN
Bachelor's or less 5.1% 1.6%   4.6% 1.5%
Master's 24.4% 10.2%   32.6% 12.3%
Professional 6.6% 2.3%   4.3% 0.7%
M.D. or D.D.S 4.5% 0.3%   1.0% 0.01%
Ph.D. or Ed.D. 37.3% 4.1%   29.5% 3.6%
Other doctorate 3.1% 0.5%   1.3% 0.2%
No answer       6.6% 1.5%



ALL PUBLICATIONS JOURNALS ONLY
  1968   1972
  MEN WOMEN   MEN WOMEN
None or no answer 31.5% 12.1% None or no answer 30.9% 11.9%
1 to 4 24.4% 5.0% 1 to 2 12.8% 3.8%
5 to 10 9.4% 1.1% 3 to 4 8.5% 1.9%
11 to 20 6.3% 0.5% 5 to 10 10.1% 1.2%
21 or more 9.2% 0.4% 11 to 20 7.7% 0.6%
      21 or more 10.2% 0.5%



BOOKS, MANUALS AND MONOGRAPHS      
No comparable data for 1968     1972
        MEN WOMEN
      None or no answer 46.2% 14.8%
      1 to 2 20.6% 3.8%
      3 to 4 7.4% 0.8%
      5 or more 5.8% 0.6%



NUMBER OF PUBLICATIONS IN PAST TWO YEARS
No comparable data for 1968     1972
        MEN WOMEN
      None or no answer 42.6% 14.8%
      1 to 2 18.9% 3.5%
      3 to 4 9.8% 1.1%
      5 or more 8.7% 0.7%



The following sets of percentages are for 1972 only:
  MEN WOMEN
DEPARTMENT CHAIRPERSON AT ANY TIME 24.7% 4.8%
MAJOR FACULTY-WIDE OFFICE SUCH AS DEAN 7.8% 1.0%
TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIP IN PAST 39.1% 6.8%
TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIP AT PRESENT 2.2% 0.5%
FELLOWSHIP OR SCHOLARSHIP OF $1000 PER YEAR OR MORE 40.9% 8.5%



SUPPORTED RESEARCH, SCHOLARLY OR CREATIVE WORK: for 1972 only      
        MEN WOMEN
      None 40.7% 12.1%
      Principal researcher 24.0% 2.7%
      Other than principal 15.3% 4.2%



PERSONAL INFORMATION: for 1972 only      
        MEN WOMEN
Married       70.0% 9.6%
Have employed spouse       29.5% 8.9%
Spouse employed as a professional in academe       16.5% 4.0%
Have dependent children       56.3% 6.7%





1"Federal laws and regulations concerning sex discrimination in educational institutions," compiled by Project on the Status and Education of Women, Association of American Colleges, October, 1972.

2Alan E. Bayer, College and university faculty: a statistical description, American Council on Education Research Reports, Vol. V, no. 5 (1970).

3Bayer, Teaching Faculty in Academe, ACE Research Reports, Vol. VIII, No. 3 (1973).

4Robin Dorr, "Education and women's rights: what the law now says," New York Teacher, Magazine Section, April 1, 1973, p. 1.

5Bayer, Teaching Faculty in Academe, unpaginated.

6U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Bureau of Educational Research and Development, also, The National Center for Educational Statistics, Washington, D.C.: Earned degrees conferred: Bachelor's and higher degrees (1961-69). Available from the U.S. Government Printing Office.

7Available from the Project on the Status and Education of Women of the American Association of Colleges, 1818 R St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009.

8"OE study shows faculty discrimination," HEW Newsletter, No. 97 (May 21, 1973), p. 7.

9"Publications of men and women psychologists: Do women publish less?" American Psychologist (Feb., 1973), p. 157.

10Cynthia L. Attwood, Women in Fellowship and Training Programs. A publication of the Association of American Colleges, Project on the Status and Education of Women, and of the Exxon Education Foundation (Nov., 1973), p. 2.

11"Academic roles differ for sexes; fewer women seniors said to plan graduate work," The New York Times, Sept. 10, 1973, p. 16.

l2David Truman, "Recycling women's options; awards as incentives, and vice versa," Women in Fellowship and Training Programs, a publication of the Project on the Status and Education of Women of the Association of American Colleges, 1972, p. 13.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 13/11/2018