At the present rate of progress it would take women until 2149 to achieve parity with men as full professors (Glayzer-Raymo 1999). Progress in academic leadership positions has been equally as slow, particularly at the departmental level. In summer 2000 a survey of approximately 92 percent of the 2,817 departments at research institutions helped to develop a set of baseline demographics for department chairs. For the departments with data available, the results of the survey showed that men chaired nearly 81 percent of the surveyed departments while women chaired approximately 19 percent. With as few as 8 women chairs in 298 engineering departments and less than 6 percent in the 340 math, statistics, earth sciences, chemistry, and physics/astrophysics departments for which data were available, it is clear that women are a very small proportion of these important academic leadership positions. This study discusses the survey results by disciplinary field and reviews the underlying factors that might be contributing to the low proportions of women.


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pp. 157-171
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