Posted: 26 Jul 2011
Date Written: June 1, 2011
The increased presence of women at all levels of higher education, from undergraduate student to full professor, has given increased currency to an argument that gender balance at the highest levels of academia will inevitably be achieved, merely through the passage of time. In this essay, that argument is challenged, both on the basis of its logic and on the basis of empirical studies on the rate of increase. Development of new measures to hasten the achievement of gender balance can now be motivated by arguments based on research in new domains, which augment traditional arguments for gender equality grounded in social justice perspectives. Three examples of arguments from new domains are presented, connecting gender balance in research groups, research questions, and the leadership of research institutions to scientific quality. Focusing on scientific quality, it is argued, entails focusing on gender equality.
Keywords: Attrition, Women professors, Career pathways in science, Participation in science, Women in higher education, Role models, Retention
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