The Status of Women in the Historical Profession, 2005
Chapter 2: Formal Equality
In almost all cases women are still primarily responsible for the day-to-day work of child rearing, and are therefore more likely than men to have followed alternate paths within the profession, either by entering the tenure-track job market relatively late in life or by working as part-time or adjunct faculty. According to Robert Townsend's "Part-Time Faculty Surveys Highlight Disturbing Trends," in 199899, when women represented 31 percent of all history faculty, 41 percent of them were employed part time, while only 30 percent of male academic historians worked part time.8 Cut differently, women made up 39 percent of part-time academic appointments, as compared to just 28 percent of full-time appointments. Whether these numbers are a result of women's choices or of barriers to women within the profession (or both), it is evident that the treatment of adjuncts is in many cases a question of the treatment of women. Our survey responses corroborate this position. One noted that, "while not all departments are guilty, many do treat their non-permanent, non-tenure employees as second class citizens—an underclass of underemployed professors." Adjuncts mentioned that they received no mentoring, no research funds or support, little recognition, and poor salaries. The AHA has published recent guidelines on the question of adjuncts, and this report should serve as a reminder that these are important initiatives to pursue, both in their own right and for the sake of women.9
We recommend that chairs carefully monitor equity in all its dimensions within their departments, with sustained attention to:
Patterns of compensation, with special attention to gender biases, both overt and embedded in other factors, such as time to promotion.
Promotion trends and patterns, in order to insure that women are not systematically being kept at rank for longer than warranted periods. The post-tenure careers of faculty, female and male, demand special attention to ensure that both the rewards and perks on the one hand and the increased workload of the post-tenure faculty member on the other are distributed as equitably as possible.
Discrimination, both overt and subtle, on the basis of race and employment status, as well as on the basis of sexual preference. This was a concern for respondents even at institutions with formal anti-discrimination policies.
July 10, 2008 2:58 PM