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The past two decades witnessed substantial growth in the percent of doctorate degrees awarded to women. In 2013, women in the humanities earned over half of all doctoral degrees (51.2%). However, evidence shows that women have continued to remain largely underrepresented among faculty. Using unique data collated from the National Humanities Department Surveys, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and data we collected on the gender of presidents, provosts, and deans, we examined whether the gender of key university administrators predicts the proportion of faculty in the humanities who were female among full- time tenured or tenure-track, full-time non-tenured, and part-time non-tenured faculty. OLS estimates indicate a statistically significant association between administrator gender and the share of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty that is female. However, instrumental variables estimation suggest more mixed results, leading us to conclude that there is no stable relationship between administrators’ gender and the proportion of faculty in humanities departments employed in different faculty types (full-time tenured and tenure-track, full-time non-tenure-track, and part-time non-tenure-track) that is female.


Suggested Citation
Benson, C. M., Jones, T. R., Prenovitz, S. J., & Ehrenberg, R. G. (2016). Increasing the share of female faculty within humanities departments: Does the gender of university leaders matter? [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations site:

Required Publisher Statement
Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, ILR School, Cornell University.