Fault of (sexist?) tenure process and not research productivity: ‘“It’s not that we need to make women more productive. It’s that we need to change the processes,” said Kate Weisshaar, a graduate student at Stanford University who did the study.’
In discussions about the gender gap among tenured professors at research universities, there is little dispute that there are far more men than women with tenure in most disciplines. But why? Many have speculated that men are outperforming women in research, which is particularly valued over teaching and service at research universities. With women (of those with children) shouldering a disproportionate share of child care, the theory goes, they may not be able to keep up with publishing and research to the same extent as their male counterparts.
A study presented here Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association finds that those assumptions may be untrue in some disciplines. The study compared tenure rates at research universities in computer science, English and sociology — and then controlled for research productivity.
Not only are men more likely than women to earn tenure, but in computer science and sociology, they are significantly more likely to earn tenure than are women who have the same research productivity. In English men are slightly (but not in a statistically significant way) more likely than women to earn tenure.