Academic Analytics RecentResearch Center
Gender and Retention Patterns Among U.S. Faculty

Women remain underrepresented among faculty in nearly all academic fields. In this talk, using a census of 245,270 tenure-track and tenured professors at United States–based PhD-granting departments, we show that women leave academia overall at higher rates than men at every career age, in large part because of strongly gendered attrition at lower-prestige institutions, in non-STEM fields, and among tenured faculty. A large-scale survey of the same faculty indicates that the reasons faculty leave are gendered, even for institutions, fields, and career ages in which retention rates are not. We show that women are more likely than men to feel pushed from their jobs and less likely to feel pulled toward better opportunities, and women leave or consider leaving because of workplace climate more often than work-life balance. These results quantify the systemic nature of gendered faculty retention; contextualize its relationship with career age, institutional prestige, and field; and highlight the importance of understanding the gendered reasons for attrition rather than focusing on rates alone.

Katie Spoon is a 4th-year PhD candidate in Computer Science and a Master's student in Education Policy at the University of Colorado Boulder, working with Professor Aaron Clauset and Professor Daniel Larremore. She is supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and her research is broadly focused on quantifying barriers to and retention within the scientific and technical workforce for historically excluded populations. Prior to her PhD, she worked as a research engineer in natural language processing and received a BS/MS with honors in Computer Science from Indiana University Bloomington.

Aaron Clauset is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder, and is External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. He received a PhD in Computer Science, with distinction, from the University of New Mexico, a BS in Physics, with honors, from Haverford College, and was an Omidyar Fellow at the prestigious Santa Fe Institute. In 2016, he was awarded the Erdos-Renyi Prize in Network Science, and since 2017, he has been a Deputy Editor responsible for the Social, Computing, and Interdisciplinary Sciences at Science Advances.

Clauset is an internationally recognized expert on network science, data science, and machine learning for complex systems. His research program is around two general themes: identifying fundamental principles of the organization and behavior of complex social and biological systems, and developing approaches for using data and computation to illuminate those ideas. A recent major focus of this work has been on the "science of science," where he studies the shape, origins, and consequences of social and epistemic inequalities on scientific careers, productivity, the spread of ideas, and the composition of the scientific workforce. His research results have appeared in many prestigious scientific venues, including Nature, Science, PNAS, SIAM Review, Science Advances, Nature Communications, AAAI, and ICDM. His work has been covered in the popular press by Quanta Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Discover Magazine, Wired, the Boston Globe and The Guardian.

Request Video Playback

Fields marked with an * are required.

Share this event

AARC Twitter
AARC Linkedin