Gender and retention patterns among U.S. faculty Journal Article uri icon



  • Women remain underrepresented among faculty in nearly all academic fields. Using a census of 245,270 tenure-track and tenured professors at U.S.-based PhD-granting departments, we show that women leave academia overall at higher rates than men at every career age, in large part because of strongly gendered attrition at lower-prestige institutions, in non-STEM fields, and among tenured faculty. A large-scale survey of the same faculty indicates that the reasons faculty leave are gendered, even for institutions, fields, and career ages in which retention rates are not. Women are more likely than men to feel pushed from their jobs and less likely to feel pulled toward better opportunities, and women leave or consider leaving because of workplace climate more often than work-life balance. These results quantify the systemic nature of gendered faculty retention, contextualize its relationship with career age, institutional prestige, and field, and highlight the importance of understanding the gendered reasons for attrition rather than focusing on rates alone.

publication date

  • May 22, 2023

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • May 24, 2023 2:36 AM

Full Author List

  • Spoon K; LaBerge N; Wapman KH; Zhang S; Morgan A; Galesic M; Fosdick B; Larremore D; Clauset A

author count

  • 9

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