To begin, I want to commend Colleen Flaherty on the fantastic article at Inside Higher Ed. If you are a numbers junkie, then definitely head over and check it out. A ton of interesting statistics on the growth of underrepresented groups and women in Higher education roles including adjunct, tenure, and years within the profession.
For this article, I won’t go too indepth when it comes to stats. The key pieces of information to note are that women have seen an increase in Higher Education jobs, currently holding almost 50% of faculty positions. Although this is well and good, women are still lacking in higher, more prestigious roles such as tenured jobs. The same issues can be found with underrepresented groups (African American, Hispanic American, and Native American), as they hold an estimated 13% of faculty positions, yet only 10% of tenured jobs.
Despite this, numbers are growing in favor of women and underrepresented groups. Taking straight from the article “white faculty increased by 43 percent between 1993 and 2013, the numbers of Asian-American and underrepresented minority faculty grew by 171 percent and 143 percent, respectively – three times the rate of growth in white faculty, according to the study.” The same can be said of women, growing from about 38% in 1993 to almost 50% in 2013. The growth is a positive, and the issue of tenured jobs seems to be on the forefront of solving. In higher education, a mandatory retirement age for tenured professors is 65. If these numbers bear out, we should hopefully see an increase for women and minorities soon.