What percentage of women and minority professors reach tenure?
In 2014, the Yale Daily News released a piece on the hardships of reaching tenure – the point of permanent professorship – at Yale University. The reporter, Theresa Steinmeyer, specifically outlined the additional difficulties taken on by professors deriving from minorities. In 2014 only 24.1% of the tenured faculty were female, and 13.4% were non-white. But the Yale Headcount Summary by Race/Gender from the Yale databases suggest it was closer to 34.9% and 19.9% respectively. According to the same document, the 2015-2016 year (the most recent update only dates back to this time period) still only suggests minimal if any improvement. That’s not to say they haven’t been making an effort. In fact, Yale has attempted to create initiatives to even the disparity. In 2006 Yale began a seven-year initiative to tenure 30 women and 30 minority members. Yale did hire 30 women and exceeded their goal and hired 56 minority members, however, within a five year period, 12 women and 34 minority faculty had left the university.
At least there has been improvement since 2006 when there were only 19.4% women and 10.4% minorities in the permanent faculty. There has been a lot of progress since then, but let’s see if we can figure out why we have yet to reach minority/majority equilibrium.