Gender Bias in Academia

Gender bias still exists in academia. Sad to say, the quotes to the right are from focus groups conducted by WorkLife Law in 2007 and 2008. In fact, among full professors at all institutions nationwide in 2005-2006, women held 24% of the positions and men held 76% with the lowest percentages of women in the most prestigious and highest paid faculty jobs.

Common, Recognizable Patterns of Gender Bias

Research shows that gender bias falls into four basic patterns that arise again and again. Click on each pattern below to learn more.
The Maternal Wall: When women encounter severe bias once they have children.
Prove-It-Again!When women have to work harder to establish competence.
Double Bind: When the job requires a ‘go getter’ but assertive women are seen as ‘difficult.’
Gender Wars: When gender bias pits women against each other.

Why Does Gender Bias in Academia Matter?

Losing women is expensive. Average start-up packages for scientists are often $300,000 to $500,000 or more. If a department loses one woman after another, these costs add up fast. Click here to learn more about the Economics of Retaining Women in Academia.

Best Practices

Worklife Law has compiled best practices used by colleges and universities across the nation to successfully retain talented faculty—particularly women–with family responsibilities.

Download our compiled best practices here.

Read Our Focus Group Findings

Read our report of findings from focus groups we conducted with women faculty members, Breaking Through Glass Ceilings and Maternal Walls in Academia.