2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 11:15 AM


HOLMES, Mary Anne, Geosciences, Univ of Nebraska-Lincoln, 214 Bessey Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0340, O'CONNELL, Suzanne, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan Univ, 265 Church St, Middletown, CT 06459, FREY, Connie D., Bureau of Sociological Research, Univ of Nebraska-Lincoln, 730 Oldfather Hall, Lincoln, NE 68588 and ONGLEY, Lois K., 86 Russell St, Lewiston, ME 04240-6003, mholmes2@unl.edu

In 1995 Macfarlane and Luzzader-Beach reported that women comprised around 12% of the entries in the American Geological Institute's "Directory of Geoscience Departments". Six years later, the number has crept up to 14.2% (excluding administrative assistants). There is a greater proportion of women working at Museums (17.5%), BA/BS-granting institutions (17.2%), and non degree-granting academic institutions (16.5%). However, when marginal positions, such as "Lecturer", "Instructor", "Adjunct" and "Cooperating Faculty" are excluded these percentages decrease to 14.0% (Museums) and 15.9% (BA/BS-granting institution). The institutions with the lowest proportion of females are the State Geologic Surveys (12.6% female), followed by Ph.D.-granting institutions (12.8% female). These numbers contrast poorly with the proportion of women receiving B.S. or M.S. degrees in the geosciences (34% B.S./30% M.S. in 1996) and with the proportion receiving the PhD. (24% over the last 10 years; 30% in 2000). There is still a significant "pipeline" loss of women between the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and between the Ph.D. degree and a tenure-track position. Reasons for these losses and strategies to reverse them will be discussed.

Most women in tenure-track positions at degree-granting institutions are Assistant Professors while most men are Full Professors. The largest group, 60% of all academics positions at PhD-degree granting institutions, is composed of males in Full Professor positions who received their PhD's 21 or more years ago. The largest proportion of women are Assistant Professors who received their PhD's less than 10 years ago. The proportion of women hired into Assistant Professor positions has increased over the last five years, from 22% hired 5 to 10 years ago to 25% hired 1 to 5 years ago. These data indicate that women are beginning to approach being hired at the same proportion in which they receive PhD degrees in the geosciences. Despite common myth, women are not getting "all" of the new Assistant Professor positions; they remain under-represented at every level, at every type of institution. At the current rates of increase, we expect women will not achieve parity in the geosciences for at least another 40 years.