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GENDER EQUALITY IN ACADEMIA A Case Study of Individual Responses to Aggregate Structural Problems William F. Chiu Presentation at Auburn University, May.

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Presentation on theme: "GENDER EQUALITY IN ACADEMIA A Case Study of Individual Responses to Aggregate Structural Problems William F. Chiu Presentation at Auburn University, May."— Presentation transcript:

1 GENDER EQUALITY IN ACADEMIA A Case Study of Individual Responses to Aggregate Structural Problems William F. Chiu Presentation at Auburn University, May 19, 2010

2 UC Irvine Background 22,000 undergraduate students - 53% women - 57% non-white or hispanic 4,900 graduate students 1,520 instructional faculty - 34% women

3 FINDINGS: Discrimination continues, is subtle but powerful - Individual rather than group response - Gender devaluation - Title IX Overhang/Rational DM problem What are the stakes? Pipeline is constructed by faculty and administration = power to change expectations Where does pipeline lead? Breakout of jobs by location reveals channeling

4 Tackling the problem Environmental conditions: Aggregate statistical data indicating equity (pay, employment) Individual Perception: Interviews register the subtle nuances missed by aggregate data Research methodology: 80+ narrative interpretive interviews, from

5 Setting the Stage: The Academy as an Industry Wages in total ~ $28 Billion Benefits in total ~ $7.5 Billion 1386 member institutions 367,476 academic faculty (AAUP 2008) Research funds, not covered here, only add to total economic mass 18.2 million students enrolled (DOE 2007)

6 Seeing the Whole Pipeline Includes undergraduate teaching – role models leading to> Recruitment into and advancement through graduate training + career prep > Appointment and advancement through tenure Faculty create this pipeline, they can change it. NB: Each step is subject to possible bias.

7 Pipeline Output Academic personnel require advanced degrees. The pool of employees reflects the output of the training pipeline over time. – The composition of the pool, as reflected in the distribution of men and women across institution type and faculty rank is dynamic: – As more women enter the pipeline, more women will exit and the proportions will change.

8 Faculty Composition Will Change If more women are qualified, they will find jobs and will rise in seniority. A snapshot today is a reflection of the pipeline from the past, not evidence of deliberate bias But why wait, take action and manage the process as you can now!

9 US Aggregate Faculty Proportions by Ladder Rank RANK% OF MEN% OF WOMEN Professor Associate Professor Assistant Professor * Lecturer Total *Women achieve a semblance of parity at Assistant Professor – is there hope for the future? AAUP 2008

10 Some analytic perspectives: Returns to Human Capital Argument – PhD is difficult, expensive and long. After earning degree, rational actor would seek to maximize return on this self-investment. – Monetary reward varies greatly by institution type and by rank. – First door you open is to the institution. This creates a track (tenure) that is a multi-year commitment. Switching tracks while maintaining status is difficult. Institution type matters. It defines your track and how you are seen.

11 Characteristics of Academic Labor Market Academic employment is not as liquid as private sector – limited job mobility. Jobs constrained by: Location, department, specific position (field) and rank. Appointment and advancement (Tenure) is collegial, vote-oriented by ones peers and above. You are not an at-will employee (good), but neither is your boss (not so good?).

12 Rational Choice Argument (Becker 1971) Discrimination in pay for the same work is an economic inefficiency. Under a profit motive, self-interest model, to pay men more for the same work is to pay a premium that diminishes total profit. A rational actor would not do this. However, a systemic bias could also be collusion, which is supremely rational for those who earn the premium.

13 The Veil of Ignorance (Rawls 1971) Imagine that societal roles were completely re-fashioned and redistributed, and that from behind your veil of ignorance you do not know what role you will be reassigned. Only then can you truly consider the morality of an issue. What would be fair to the person, male or female? How would faculty DELIBERATE?

14 Springboard or Plank? Factors to consider when starting career: Your home institution type matters – Hard to change types from less to more featured institutions. – Demands of institutions may produce career results that are not evaluated favorably at other types of institutions – Monetary benefits inferior by ladder rank

15 Into the Academy, which door will (you) open?

16 A Title is a Title is… But where does one have it? Location matters. Full professor is hard to achieve at every institution level. Pay seems more equitable at Two Year College. But it’s not much compared with R1 institutions. The following slides show a map of the job/location terrain.

17 Women’s Pay as Percentage of Men’s by Institution and Rank

18 Average Pay Differentials – Rank/Institution

19 Where Women Work - % of Faculty by Institution

20 Where Men Work - % of Faculty by Institution

21 Equity is political and the stakes are high Widely held definition of politics: The authoritative allocation of value (Easton 1953) Where inputs into some institutional arrangement produce value outputs (material, ideational, symbolic etc.). You can study the values or the allocation.

22 Findings: Ongoing, subtle institutional and cultural forms of discrimination Carolyn: The most fundamental problem is the old boy network. These men have been here for 30 years or more and have gotten into that power structure. They don’t look for goals of equity, they just don’t. They have a whole interpersonal political structure set up to support their regressive values. That’s why it’s very frustrating here. Because there’s nowhere to go for appeal….It frustrates me that the administration….doesn’t care that half the faculty is really unhappy. What kind of organization is that? Do those deliberating across the table really see each other as equals?

23 Having a women in power, perhaps necessary but not sufficient Dolores: I think having women in positions of power is important, no doubt about that. Do I think having more women in those positions is enough to simply change the way we think about gender and the production of knowledge? No, I don’t. I think it is very easy to have more patriarchal minded women running institutions.

24 Is the personal political? Balancing work and family is tough. Tension can be worked around in all fields except the laboratory or bench sciences, which require extensive lab time. An environment in which women are surviving not thriving. Exhaustion, struggle, uncertainty, incompatible tensions between professionalism and motherhood, the need to make difficult choices. Voices of struggle, denial and helplessness, ultimately lacking the empowering strategies to change seemingly intractable circumstances. They are not voices that see the personal as political.

25 What to Do? Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (US) No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance If discrimination is illegal, a rational actor would not deliberately discriminate.

26 Does the passing of a law change behavior overnight? Pro: Those who are harmed have recourse. Con: Burden of proof shifts to those who are harmed, if we presume that people generally act rationally and it is irrational to discriminate due to penalty. So… Does discrimination go underground? Does it manifest in opaque tenure decisions? How quickly does practice change?

27 Even overt discrimination not seen as political Women do not politicize overt acts of discrimination, even sexual harassment. Describing an experience of harassment. “I did not file a complaint. This is a very senior person on campus and under no circumstance would I have filed anything. Until you get tenure, you have to take care of yourself, basically. I thought this was my issue.” (Jane)

28 In explaining discrimination, women minimize systemic or cultural bias, favor personal responsibility Zelda: I do not have any major experience of discrimination that I can recount. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t there and I might not have been somewhat oblivious to it. Like many people, when I didn’t get something, I tended to assume it was through my own failure. What explains this pattern? Is taking on personal responsibility a psychological attempt to confer a sense of control?

29 Legal mechanisms not enough to get at the root of the problem. How effective are existing legal mechanisms to protect women? Not very. Do women use these mechanisms? Sometimes. If they do, are they stigmatized for doing so? Frequently. And, if the problem has a strong political component, as much of the interviews suggest, then is there an additional problem? Failure of women to see the personal as political, means they do not work through the political process to achieve change.

30 Gender Devaluation Gender Devaluation: subtle process by which status and power of an authoritative position are downplayed when that position is held by a woman so that work or positions, once deemed powerful and high status, become devalued once women take on these roles e.g. Department chairs confer power and status on men, but are perceived as service jobs when women hold them.

31 Service is for women, and service is undervalued. Sally: Across departments, women are doing a disproportional share. Of course, in a faculty member’s life, service work is least rewarded. In my department, women do considerably more, and they do it better, faster and in most cases without having to redo it. Yet, it is not as valued as research.

32 UCI Tenure and Tenure Track Faculty Number Percent Women Totals

33 Ladder Ranks Faculty Salary Mean Residuals: Women and Minorities 1998 through 2009

34 Summary of Aggregate Data Where one works matters. The pay differences are stark. At all levels, women earn less than men. – Positive spin: at entry levels, gap is narrower than at senior levels. – At less prestigious institutions, gap is narrowed However, the pattern is clear, nowhere do women earn the same amount or more.

35 POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS General: Redefine success, shift from traditional male model of professional life, but not the exploited female model. Both models limit both men and women. Specific changes: Alternate paths to tenure. Spousal hiring, family leave (babies, elderly family members), flexible day care Expanded and re-conceptualized mentoring programs Understand that this can be a political proces and manage accordingly.

36 Juggling in practice: What to do when a paper is due and your daughter needs to go to dance rehearsal?

37 Acknowledgments Authors: Kristen Renwick Monroe, Amy Alexander, Saba Ozyurt, Ted Wrigley, William Chiu With the assistance of and thanks to: Alexis Etow, Lina Kreidie, Sandrine Zerbib, Altaf Saadi, Audrey Au, Sara Ubovich, Alexander Lampros, Chloe Lampros-Monroe, and the Women of UCI The Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation UCI Advance Grant


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