Professional Activities, Climate, Institutional Resources, and Outcomes
The survey findings with regard to climate and resources demonstrate two critical points. First, discipline matters, as indicated by the difference in the amount of grant funding held by men and women faculty in biology, but not in other disciplines. Second, institutions have been doing well in addressing most of the aspects of climate that they can control, such as start-up packages and reduced teaching loads. Where the challenge may remain is in the climate at the departmental level. Interaction and collegial engagement with one’s colleagues is an important part of scientific discovery and collaboration, and here women faculty were not as connected.
5. Male and female faculty appeared to have similar access to many kinds of institutional resources, although there were some resources for which male faculty seemed to have an advantage. (Findings 4-1 through 4-5)
Survey data revealed a great deal of similarity between the professional lives of male and female faculty. In general, men and women spent similar proportions of their time on teaching, research, and service; male faculty spent 41.4 percent of their time on teaching, while female faculty spent 42.6 percent. Male and female faculty members reported comparable access to most institutional resources, including start-up packages, initial reduced teaching loads, travel funds, summer salary, and supervision of similar numbers of research assistants and postdocs.
Men appeared to have greater access to equipment needed for research and to clerical support. At first glance, men seemed to have more lab space than women, but this difference disappeared once other factors such as discipline and faculty rank were accounted for.
6. Female faculty reported that they were less likely to engage in conversation with their colleagues on a wide range of professional topics.
(Findings 4-6, 4-7, and 4-8)
There were no differences between male and female faculty on two of our measures of inclusion: chairing committees (39 percent for men and 34 percent for women) and being part of a research team (62 percent for men and 65 percent for women). And although women reported that they were more likely to have mentors than men (57 percent for tenure-track female faculty compared to 49 percent for men), they were less likely to engage in conversation with their colleagues on a wide range of professional topics, including research, salary, and benefits (and, to some extent, interaction with other faculty members and departmental climate). This distance may prevent women from accessing important information and may make them feel less included and more marginalized in their professional lives. The male and female faculty surveyed did not differ in their reports of discussions with colleagues on teaching, funding, interaction with administration, and personal life.
7. There is little evidence across the six disciplines that men and women have exhibited different outcomes on most key measures (including publications, grant funding, nominations for international and national honors and awards, salary, and offers of positions in other institutions). The exception is publications, where men had published more than women in five of the six disciplines. On all measures, there were significant differences among disciplines. (Findings 4-9 through 4-14)
Overall, male faculty published marginally more refereed articles and papers in the past 3 years than female faculty, except in electrical engineering, where the reverse was true. Men published significantly more papers than women in chemistry (men: 15.8; women: 9.4) and mathematics (men: 12.4; women: 10.4). In electrical engineering, women published marginally more papers than men (men: 5.8; women: 7.5). The differences in the number of publications between men and women were not significant in biology, civil engineering, and physics.
There were no significant gender differences in the probability that male or female faculty would have grant funding, i. e., be a principal investigator or coprincipal investigator on a grant proposal. Male faculty had significantly more research funding than female faculty in biology; the differences were not significant in the other disciplines.
Female assistant professors who had a mentor had a higher probability of receiving grants than those who did not have a mentor. In chemistry, female assistant professors with mentors had a 95 percent probability of having grant funding compared to 77 percent for those women without mentors. Over all six fields surveyed female assistant professors with no mentors had a 68 percent probability of having grant funding compared to 93 percent of women with mentors. This contrasts with the pattern for male assistant professors; those with no mentor had an 86 percent probability of having grant funding compared to 83 percent for those with mentors.
Male and female faculty were equally likely to be nominated for international and national honors and awards, although the results varied significantly by discipline. Gender was a significant determinant of salary among full professors; male full professors made, on average, about 8 percent more than females, once we controlled for discipline. At the associate and assistant professor ranks, the differences in salaries of men and women faculty disappeared.