Gender Disparity in Harvard Faculty

Using data to unearth the pervasive gender imbalance within Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Emma Ling
Emma Ling
Oct 29, 2017 · 7 min read
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Professor Paul Doty lectures in Harvard’s Conant Laboratory in the 1960s. Courtesy of Harvard Library.

Data collection methods

Men dominate the faculty overall

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Gender disparity worsens among full professors

Three departments don’t have a single tenured female professor: math, linguistics, and environmental science and engineering.

Some bright spots, but overall cause for concern

However, several departments, like computer science (25% female faculty) and mechanical engineering (29%), actually fare better than expected. They equal or beat the average Harvard department, which has 25% female faculty.

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More seniority means fewer women

The more senior the position, the lower the proportion of female faculty.

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Not all Harvard divisions have the same disparity

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The source of the disparity in tenure rates is that women are leaving at higher rates than men. These results indicate that Harvard needs to do a better job recruiting women and getting them to stay to improve the gender balance in tenured faculty.

What comes next for Harvard

Limitations of our study


Harvard College Open Data Project

Check out our analyses at http://hodp.org!

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