U.S. News included “Professor” on its list of 31 best jobs for 2008. That’s cool. They even provide an executive summary of why they like it so much. They’re right that tenure is pretty sweet, if you can get it. They’re not so right that being a woman helps you land a tenure-track job though. Beware the popular press. Well, all the press really. Just beware.
I don’t mean to be a stampeding feminist, well, maybe I do. Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the gender gap in tenure-track hiring and tenure awarding is not closed, and women are most certainly not getting the advantage U.S. News claims.
Quick look at references about gender bias in tenure-track hiring:
Stenpreis, R., Anders, K.A., and Ritzke, D. (1999) The Impact of Gender on the Review of the Curricula Vitae of Job Applicants and Tenure Candidates: A National Empirical Study. Sex Roles. 41(7), 509-528.
von Anders, S.M. (2005) Why the Academic Pipeline Leaks: Fewer Men than Women Perceive Barriers to Becoming Professors. Sex Roles. 51(9-10), 511-521.
Chronicle of Higher Ed – 11/6/2006 – AAUP Report Blames Colleges for Gender Inequity Among Professors