Academic employment



In the past 20 years, participation of women in the academic doctoral workforce has increased considerably. Growth in the participation of underrepresented minorities has been slower. Women and underrepresented minorities in academic employment continue to differ from their male, white, and Asian counterparts in rank, tenure, salary, and federal support.

Thumbnail of chart showing Women as a percentage of full-time, full professors with science, engineering, and health doctorates, by employing institution 1993-2013. Thumbnail of chart showing Underrepresented minorities as a percentage of full-time, full professors with science, engineering, and health doctorates, by employing institution 1993-2013. Thumbnail of chart showing Median salaries of doctoral scientists and engineers employed full time in 4-year institutions, by years since doctorate 2013. Thumbnail of chart showing Full-time faculty in 4-year institutions who have science, engineering, and health doctorates and receive federal support 2013.

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Women as a percentage of full-time, full professors with science, engineering, and health doctorates, by employing institution: 1993–2013
NOTE: Criteria for research I institutions based on 1994 Carnegie classification.

Women in full-time, full professorships

Women's share of full-time, full professorships has more than doubled since 1993. Despite this increase, women currently occupy only about one-fourth of these senior faculty positions. Women's share of full professorships is similar at the nation's most research-intensive academic institutions and at all 4-year colleges and universities.

Women are more likely to hold full-time associate and assistant professorships than full-time, full professorships, in part because older cohorts of academically employed doctorate holders in science, engineering, and health are disproportionately male.

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Underrepresented minorities as a percentage of full-time, full professors with science, engineering, and health doctorates, by employing institution: 1993–2013
NOTE: Criteria for research I institutions based on 1994 Carnegie classification.

Underrepresented minorities in professorships and tenure-track positions

The share of full-time, full professorships held by underrepresented minorities is lower than and has risen more slowly than the share held by women (figures A and B). When associate professorships in addition to full professorship are taken into consideration, underrepresented minorities occupied 8% of these senior faculty positions at all 4-year colleges and universities and about 6% of these positions at the nation's most research-intensive institutions. Underrepresented minorities held lower shares of tenured or tenure-track positions than their white and Asian counterparts. Although underrepresented minority women held smaller shares of tenure-track positions than did Asian women, they held about the same share of tenured positions.

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Median salaries of doctoral scientists and engineers employed full time in 4-year institutions, by years since doctorate: 2013
URM = underrepresented minority.

Median salaries

Among recently degreed science and engineering doctorate holders with similar years of experience, median salaries for men, women, and most racial and ethnic groups were fairly similar in 4-year academic institutions. A more noticeable difference in median salary was observed between Asian men and Asian women who had received their doctorate prior to 2000.

In 2013, median salaries were highest for those with doctorates in computer and information sciences and engineering, fields in which men outnumber women substantially.

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Full-time faculty in 4-year institutions who have science, engineering, and health doctorates and receive federal support: 2013
URM = underrepresented minority.

Federal grants or contracts

Among science and engineering doctorate holders employed full time as full, associate, or assistant professors in 4-year colleges or universities, underrepresented minorities were less likely than their white and Asian counterparts to be supported by federal grants or contracts in 2013. Overall, a higher share of men (47%) than women (40%) received this support. Similarly, among whites and Asians, men were more likely than women to receive federal grants and contracts. However, in underrepresented minority groups, about the same share of men and women received such support. Of all the groups, Asian men were the most likely to have obtained support.

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