Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 6(9), pp. 695 - 708
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2018.060902
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The Status of Women in American Higher Education

Carol Frances *
Claremont Graduate University, USA


This is a comprehensive overview of the status of women using charts to document trends. The charts are divided into two parts. Part 1 charts in the demographic domain show the spectacular success of women beginning to outnumber men as early as 1980 in the college-going rate, college enrollments, and earned degrees. By 2010 women even earned more doctorate degrees than men. More women than men are employed in higher education in every position, including administration. Part 2 charts show a dismaying lack of continuing success of women in the economic domain of higher education. The number of bachelor degrees earned by women has fallen off from earlier peaks in all the STEM fields. Degrees earned by women continue to be predominantly in the lower paying social science fields. Women professors are paid less than men and the salary gap continues to grow. After huge gains in the number of professional degrees earned by women, the trends have plateaued in recent years. Finally, the number of women college presidents and the number of women serving on governing boards has hit low ceilings. The paper concludes with a search for explanations of these trends and recommendations for aggressive action to restore progress toward equality and equity for women in American higher education.

Higher Education, Gender Equality, Gender Equity, Salary Gap, STEM

Cite this paper
Carol Frances . "The Status of Women in American Higher Education." Sociology and Anthropology 6.9 (2018) 695 - 708. doi: 10.13189/sa.2018.060902.