The low number of women leaders and professors in higher academia is a disparity universities must address with strategic recruitment and support programs, Baylor University officials say.
Women make up about 76 percent of the 3.7 million K-12 teachers nationwide, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Education. But they comprise only 26 percent of full-time professors at universities, despite earning about half of the doctorate degrees issued in the U.S.
“We have more and more women enrolling at all levels (at universities), so we have more women graduate students than we had last year or the year before,” said Laine Scales, Baylor University higher education professor and associate dean of the graduate school. “We’re kind of getting to this critical mass where enough women are saying, ‘We know we’re going into faculty or administrative roles, we know women have special issues that they need to think about related to gender, let’s (talk) about it now.’ ”