Report Updates the Status of Women in the Higher Education Pipeline
September 20, 2017

An infobrief by ACE's Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS) and ACE Leadership updates key statistics about women in higher education, examining issues like tenure, compensation and representation in high-ranking leadership positions, such as the presidency and membership on governing boards.

"Pipelines, Pathways, and Institutional Leadership: An Update on the Status of Women in Higher Education,” is the latest in CPRS’s Higher Ed Spotlight series, a collection of infographics that cover relevant and timely issues of interest to higher education stakeholders. This infobrief consolidates information about women in all levels of higher education into a single document.

The aim of the report is to promote a dialogue on how to best move the needle and increase the number of women leaders, and it also busts the “pipeline myth”—the idea that there are too few women qualified for leadership positions. While women are moving through the pipeline and being prepared for leadership positions at a greater rate than men, women do not hold associate professor or full professor positions at the same rate as their male peers.

In addition, the report found discrepancies between men and women in terms of tenure status and the pay gap. Men held a higher percentage of tenured faculty positions at every type of institution even though they did not hold the highest number of faculty positions at every rank. Men also out earned women by nearly $14,000 at public institutions and more than $18,000 at private institutions.

And while the number of women to hold the position of president has increased since over the past three decades, as of 2016, women only held 30 percent of presidencies across all institutions of higher education, just a four percentage point increase since 2011.

Despite the challenges the infobrief highlights, ACE Leadership is already committed to helping increase the number of women in higher education senior leadership positions through programs, research and resources, including its Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership commitment that more than 500 presidents have signed.