Study: Women are less likely to be awarded with professorships

Female faculty hoping to advance in academia face significant barriers due to male-dominated environments at colleges and universities, according to a new study of faculty enrollment at business schools, published in the Journal of Management.

“Our study suggests that a masculine-gendered environment dominates management departments, leading to shifting standards when it comes to the highest senior appointments in academe,” reads the abstract of the paper. 

Len Treviño, professor at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business and fellow researchers Luis R. Gomez-Mejia at Arizona State University, David B. Balkin at the University of Colorado and Franklin G. Mixon Jr. at Columbus State University, analyzed appointments by gender among a sample of 511 management faculty from top institutions with over 10 years of post-doc experience. 

According to eCampus News, the researchers found that women are less likely to be awarded professorships, facing deeply embedded biases that are likely to not even be noticed.

“The competence of female faculty is more likely to be questioned while male competence is taken for granted by the gatekeepers. Academic institutions, like some other businesses, were created by men and for men. Things are changing but they’re changing too slowly, in our estimation,” Treviño said. 

Although the study concentrates in business schools in the United States, the researchers believe their results could be replicable in other academic settings. Moreover, the researchers hope this study will help increase awareness on the issue.