Faculty Gender Equity at Emory
PCSW study finds both fairness and imbalances

By Daniel Teodorescu, Director of Institutional Research, and Beth Seelig, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Chair, President's Commission on the Status of Women

To read the entire report, visit the PCSW’s website at www.emory.edu/PCSW.


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In light of the negative findings the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other research universities were releasing at the time, in spring 2000 the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) saw the need to study faculty gender equity issues on this campus. At the PCSW’s request, the Office of Institutional Research recently completed such an analysis.

The report is divided into three parts. The first section discusses the representation and hiring of women faculty at various professorial ranks, tenure rates and promotion to professor by gender, and representation of women in leadership roles and among holders of endowed professorships. The second part analyzes faculty attrition by gender. The last part discusses the results of a salary equity analysis conducted on the cohort of 2000-01 tenured and tenure-track non-medical faculty.

To read the entire report, visit the PCSW’s website at www.emory.edu/PCSW.

Here are some of the highlights of this study:

Although the overall representation of women has improved over the last decade and Emory ranks favorably among peer universities in regard to percentage of tenured faculty who are women, we continue to have relatively few women at the full professor level. In 2000-01, only 15 percent of full professors were women.

Women tend to be hired at lower academic ranks than men. During the academic years 1998-99, 1999-00, and 2000-01, only 13 percent of all newly hired female non-medical faculty entered Emory at the associate or full professor ranks.

• For the tenure-track non-medical
assistant professors who were hired between 1991 and 1993, the tenure rate is slightly lower for women than for men (47 percent compared to 52 percent).

The average time that non-medical faculty hold the associate professor rank before being promoted to full professor is 7.2 years for women and 6.5 years for men. The small difference is not statistically significant.

Although women are well represented among department chairs (with the exception of the School of Medicine), they appear to be
underrepresented in the University Faculty Council and other leadership positions. Further, only 16 percent of female faculty hold endowed chair positions. This may be related to the low representation of women at the professor level.

• In 2001, the overall retention rate among tenured and tenure-track
faculty hired between 1989 and 1994 was lower for women than for men (55 percent versus 60 percent). Retention of women faculty has been improving, however. While 30 percent of the tenure-track or tenured faculty who left Emory between 1990 and 1995 were women, that proportion dropped to 25 percent for the 1996-2000 period. Only 20 percent of the faculty who left Emory in the 2000-01 academic year were women.

• Without controlling for discipline and salary predictors such as previous or current administrative appointments, years at Emory, or years in rank, the earnings gap between men and women among non-medical faculty is 9.9 percent for full professors, 8.9 percent for associate professors, and 8.8 percent for assistant professors. These pay disparities are consistent with those of other private research non-engineering universities.

• When the above salary determinants are taken into account, the average salary gap between men and women for all ranks combined narrows to less than 2 percent. The pay gap is not statistically significant at the .05 level, however. The male advantage on several salary predictors seems to explain the wage differentials. That is, men are better represented within the administrative positions, higher paying fields, and the more senior faculty ranks. They also have more years of experience at Emory and more years in rank.

• Both men and women are paid relatively close to the levels estimated by models controlling for discipline and other salary determinants. The average actual salaries for female faculty at the associate and full professor ranks are, respectively, $427 and $100 lower than predicted. For female assistant professors, however, the average actual salary is $678 more than the predicted average.


What can be gained from this initial exploration of gender equity issues at Emory? The following are a few recommendations to consider for improving the representation of women and ensuring that pay equity is maintained across all areas of the university:

Although the pay equity analysis shows that, controlling for human capital characteristics, there is no significant gender gap in salaries
for the university as a whole, inequitable pay gaps may exist for individual faculty members. This is why the report recommends that each year the schools use residual analysis or other statistical methods to examine salaries for each faculty member and see that sound justification exists for the bottom 20 percent of residuals.

The results also point to a need for more aggressive recruiting of female faculty, particularly at the more senior ranks, and in the professional schools, where the higher paying fields tend to be concentrated. The relatively low proportion of women hired at senior academic ranks should prompt a closer look at how the university handles faculty recruitment. For instance, do all departments use labor pool data in the recruiting efforts? Do all academic disciplines plan for and succeed in hiring women in proportions comparable to their availability? Without formally considering data on the proportion of women in the labor pool while planning searches, search committees may not know how much effort they need to make towards addressing issues related to the lack of gender parity within their departments.

Although the findings of this analysis do not point to evidence of gender inequities in faculty compensation, the examination of gender equity issues should go beyond the analyses initiated in this study. Additional studies should explore other possible forms of inequity. For example, an analysis of workload distribution across gender lines might reveal that female faculty are assigned additional committee responsibilities because of their “representational service” as female members of committees and task forces or that they have disproportionate teaching and student advising loads.

We also need to better understand why women leave Emory. The pcsw Faculty Concerns Committee could conduct informal interviews with department chairs or the faculty who leave the university to gain insights into their decisions.

Finally, access to the university’s research funds, lab space, release time, post-doctoral/graduate student support, and other research resources should be examined separately for men and women. In a research-intensive university such as Emory, one could arguably expect that access to such resources would determine one’s research productivity, and, in turn, his or her salary. In fact, such an analysis ranks highly on the list of projects to be undertaken this academic year by the pcsw Faculty Concerns Committee.