Ten of the most selective institutions in the U.S. and five others in the United Kingdom and Canada still have major gender and racial gaps among senior academics, despite diversity initiatives to close them, according to a new analysis published in The Lancet. Based on publicly available data on 8,801 faculty members and information about the 15 institutions’ equity policies, the authors say that few policies are linked to specific goals or outcomes and they suggest that university rankings data include those on academic employees’ gender and ethnic diversity.
The overall proportion of men and women across academic positions was about 50-50, and a third of men and women were minorities. Women were concentrated at the lower ranks, however, representing 56 percent of junior faculty and just 34 percent of senior faculty. The share of ethnic minority women was especially small, at 19 percent among junior professors and 9 percent among the senior faculty. There wasn’t the same kind of drop-off at the senior level for minority male professors.