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Campus Women Lead

Fall 2007

Volume 36
Number 2

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Happy 35th Birthday to Title IX!

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 celebrated its 35th anniversary on June 23. Widely recognized as granting women equal access to college sports, Title IX applies broadly to federally-funded educational programs, barring any discrimination on the basis of sex. As a result in part of Title IX’s passage and subsequent enforcement, women now enjoy increased participation in undergraduate and graduate programs, greater access to financial aid, larger shares of faculty and administrative leadership roles, and the right to expect protection from sexual harassment in schools. For an in-depth look at Title IX, please visit our archival celebration of Title IX at 30:

National Center for Women & Information Technology Issues Inaugural Scorecard on the Status of Women in Information Technology

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a coalition of corporate, academic, government, and non-profit members, recently released the first annual Scorecard of Women in Information Technology. The scorecard collects third-party research to create a snapshot of women’s participation in information technology, from K-12 learning through the business environment.

In K-12 education, the scorecard notes that in 2006, girls represented under 15 percent of students who took the AP computer science exam and 1 percent of SAT-takers who intended to pursue a major in computer and information sciences. While girls comprised over 50 percent of SAT-takers who enrolled in math and computer literacy courses, they represented only 40 percent of students who had taken computer math or computer programming courses.

In post-secondary education, women earned only 11 percent of computer engineering degrees; 15 percent of computer science degrees; 21 percent of computer and information systems degrees; and 28 percent of information science degrees. In contrast, their shares of other science degrees were often significantly higher (as high as 62 percent in biology), and their overall share of undergraduate degree attainment was almost 60 percent.

Women in IT-related professions are underrepresented as compared to their overall participation in the workforce. While 2005 statistics show that women fill 56 percent of professional jobs in the United States, they hold only 27 percent of jobs in computer and mathematical occupations. Women are particularly underrepresented among computer science faculty, where 18 percent of new tenure-track faculty members were women during the 2004-05 academic year, as compared with 10 percent of full professors.

In compiling these statistics, NCWIT hopes to draw attention to the disparity for women in all ranks of information technology, and in doing so to prompt change in the attitudes and conditions that discourage women and girls from pursuing careers in IT. To read the full report, visit www.ncwit.org/pdf/2007_Scorecard_Web.pdf.

New Report Examines Factors Contributing to the Gender Pay Gap

In April 2007, the American Association of University Women’s Educational Foundation released Behind the Pay Gap, a report on women’s workplace compensation. Using regression analysis, the report’s authors determined that a significant portion of the gender pay gap cannot be attributed to any known cause (such as education, training, or experience), and thus may be ascribable to gender discrimination.

Signs of the pay gap and of corresponding gender discrimination are evident as little as one year after graduation. While women are more successful academically, more likely to earn professional licenses or certificates within a year of graduation, and roughly as likely as men to work full time, these factors do not translate into equivalent compensation. Women earn most of the bachelor’s degrees granted in fields such as education, where graduates tend to earn less than students of majors such as engineering, which is dominated by men. Moreover, women may enter occupations where the pay gap is greater (such as administrative positions, which shows higher wage differential than engineering). Yet after discounting for these and other factors, the authors conclude that approximately 25 percent of the pay gap is a result of gender alone--equating to a five percent difference in pay.

This wage gap increases as women progress through their careers. After ten years, female full-time workers make only 69 percent of what men make (down from 80 percent for recent graduates). Part of this difference is attributable to women’s greater involvement in childcare; while men and women are as likely to have children, 20 percent of mothers do not work while only 1 percent of fathers are unemployed--and breaks in employment adversely affect future earnings. Differences in earnings by occupation and industry persist, and women are much more likely than men to work in the nonprofit sector, where earnings are lower. Nevertheless, while women pursue higher education at higher rates than men, they are less likely to earn a doctorate by ten years after graduation. After discounting for these and other factors, the report’s authors found that women earn 12 percent less than men for reasons attributable to gender alone--indicating that gender discrimination increases with time from graduation.

Between 1979 and 2005, the pay gap narrowed significantly: the median weekly income of women ages 25 and older rose from 62 percent to 81 percent of men’s incomes. Yet women still earn much less than men, often for reasons that are not easily explained. In order to address this inequity, the report’s authors recommend changes to both individual behavior and systemic practices.

To download a free pdf version of the report (written by Judy Goldberg Dey and Catherine Hill), visit www.aauw.org/research/behindPayGap.cfm.

Title IX Does Not Adversely Affect Men’s Participation in College Sports, New Report Says

Who’s Playing College Sports? Trends in Participation, a report released by the Women’s Sports Foundation on June 5, 2007, counters ongoing claims that Title IX has damaged men’s athletic opportunities. The report argues that women’s participation in college athletics continues to lag behind their enrollment rates (55.8 percent of undergraduates--but only 41.7 percent of college athletes--are women).

Relying on two samples, one that surveyed 738 NCAA schools over 10 years (1995-2005) and one that surveyed 1895 schools over four years (2001-2005), the report finds that the number of men participating in college sports has steadily increased over the survey periods. While women’s participation has also increased, the gains in female participants have slowed since 2002, and the creation of women’s teams slowed in this decade as well.

Among men’s sports, tennis and wrestling did see declining participation; however, other sports saw participation increases. This was particularly true of football, the sport toward which NCAA Division 1-A schools typically funnel the greatest percentage of their substantial expenditures for athletics (41.6 percent). Incidentally, NCAA Division 1-A schools were the only institutional class that experienced an overall decline in men’s athletic participation.

The report refutes findings of two other reports (one by the College Sports Council and one by the Government Accounting Office) often cited as proving that Title IX harms men’s athletic participation. It correlates periods of growth in men’s athletics to periods in which court decisions (such as Cohen v. Brown) pushed schools toward greater compliance with Title IX, and suggests that growth in women’s athletics is more closely related to administrative support than Title IX’s success. It lays out policy implications and protests recent attempts to “weaken” Title IX.

To download the report, visit wsf-staging.mediapolis.com/binary-data/reportcard/fullreport.pdf.

COACHE Report Highlights Gender Differential in Faculty Job Satisfaction

The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) released its latest report, Tenure Track Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey Highlights, on August 1, 2007. The highlights report, available for free download online, is based on the responses of 6,773 full-time, pre-tenure faculty located at 77 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and illustrates differences in perception by gender, ethnicity, and institutional type.

In regards to tenure, female faculty reported that they found tenure criteria less clear and the tenure process, body of evidence, and standards significantly less clear than their male peers indicated. While female faculty reported more clarity in regards to such expectation factors as performance as a teacher, as a campus citizen, and as a member of the broader community, they found scholarship expectations significantly less clear than did their male peers. Female faculty also found these expectations less reasonable in every area than did their male peers. Faculty of color and white faculty reported similar clarity in the tenure process, although white faculty found tenure standards less clear than did faculty of color. Faculty of color, however, found expectations for teaching performance less clear than did their white peers.

In addition to surveying faculty regarding their perception of the tenure process, COACHE inquired into the Nature of the Work; Policies and Practices; and Climate, Culture, and Collegiality. These comprehensive categories fed into the summary indicator, Global Satisfaction. When questioned about their general satisfaction, both female faculty and faculty of color were significantly less satisfied with their departments, and female faculty were significantly less satisfied with their institutions than were their male peers--particularly when they worked at universities. The Highlights Report lays out these findings in detail, mapping the terrain for institutions wishing to improve policies and practices to encourage faculty satisfaction and retention.

To download the Highlights Report, visit gseacademic.harvard.edu/~coache/reports/20070801.html.



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