Knowledge Center

Women in Academia

Data and sources for Australia, Canada, Europe, India, Japan, and the United States



In Australia, Women Hold Fewer Senior Faculty Positions Than Men

Women hold fewer lecturer positions than men at the senior level and above.1

  • In 2014, Australian women held 43.6% of Senior Lecturer faculty positions and just 29.9% of “Above Senior Lecturer” faculty positions.2
  • Australian men held 56.4% of Senior Lecturer faculty positions and 70.1% of “Above Senior Lecturer” faculty positions.3  

Women hold more than half of all the lecturer and below lecturer positions.4

  • Australian women held 52.5% of Lecturer faculty positions and 53.1% of Below Lecturer faculty positons.5
  • Australian men held 47.5% of Lecturer faculty positions and 46.9% of Below Lecturer faculty positons.6
Male Faculty Receive Higher Pay and More Perks Than Women 

A study at the University of Western Australia revealed a gender pay gap of 15% for academics.7

  • Women academics received $8,744 less on average than men academics in the discretionary allowances that fund research and travel and are designed to recruit and retain employees.8

Indigenous Staff in Academia Have Lower Status 

More than half of indigenous staff in Australia hold non-academic positions.9

  • Of indigenous staff, 67.4% were employed in non-academic positions.10 
  • Of the 1,215 indigenous staff, 67.7% were women.11


Canadian Aboriginal and Visible Minority Faculty Face Challenges 


Aboriginal Canadians are almost absent from faculty positions.12

  • In the 2006 Census, only 2.1% of all university teachers reported Aboriginal ancestry.13

Visible minority faculty made up about 17% of university teachers, slightly higher than their representation in the overall labor force.14 

  • Visible minorities overall earned about 90% of what professors as a whole earned.15 
  • Latin American professors, however, earned less than 70% of what the professorate as a whole earned and black professors earned just over 75% of what the professorate as a whole earned.16 

Visible minority women professors experience a higher rate of unemployment than non-visible minority professors. 

  • The unemployment rate for women visible minoirty faculty is 7.6%.
Men Professors Earn More Than Women Professors on Average 


In 2013, in Canada, women full-time permanent university professors earned an average of $89,670 a year.

  • This is 87.8% of what men professors earned.17 


Women Hold a Smaller Share of Academic Positions in Europe Than Men


Women academics hold less than 40% of academic positions at top universities in most European countries.18 

  • A study found that women academics were 31.0% in Denmark, 31.7% in Norway, and 36.7% in Sweden.19 
  • Women hold just 18% of full professorships in Europe.20 
  • In 2013, women held just 4,415 (22.4%) of 19,745 professor positions in the UK.21

Women Academics in the UK Are Paid Less Than Men


Women academics earned 11.3% less than men academics on average in the United Kingdom.22

  • At some institutions, the gap widened to 27%.23 


European Women Held Few Academic Leadership Positions 
  • In the European Union, women held 15.5% of Vice Chancellor positions.24 


Women Are Underrepresented in Indian Academia 


In 2011, Indian women held 25.5% of “Professor and Equivalent” faculty positions, 31.1% of “Reader and Associate Professor” faculty positions,” and 38.5% of “Lecturer/Assistant Professor” faculty positions.25 

  • In India, women held 3% of vice-chancellor positions, compared to no women in Hong Kong, 2.3% in Japan, and 15% in Malaysia.26


Japan Had the Widest Gender Gap Worldwide for Women Academics


  • In 2013, women represented just 12.7% of academics at Japan’s top-rated universities.27



United States

Men Out-Rank Women in US Faculty Positions


While women held nearly half (48.4%) of all tenure-track positions in 2013, they held just 37.5% of tenured positions.28 

  • Women were more likely to be found in lower-ranking academic positions.29
  • 32.5% of women faculty are in non-tenure track positions compared to 19.6% of men faculty.30
  • Women held 56.8% of all instructor positions, among the lowest ranking positions in academia.31 
  • Raising a family negatively impacts women’s academic careers.32 
    • Among tenured faculty, only 44% of women were married with children, compared to 70% of men.33 
  • An analysis of 106 tenure-track positions at the University of Southern California revealed a promotion gap.34 
    • Between 1998 and 2012, 92% of white male faculty were awarded tenure, while the same was true of only 55% of women and minority faculty.35 
Women of Color Are Under-Represented in Academia36 


Asian women held 4.8% of tenure-track positions and 2.6% of tenured positions.

Black women held 3.7% of tenure-track positions and 2.2% of tenured positions.

Hispanic women held 2.5% of tenure-track positions and 2.3% of tenured positions

Men Outearn Women at Higher Levels

At all categories of institutions, full professors who are women earned on average $108,031 a year compared to $123,899 for their male colleagues. That’s 87.2% of what men earned.37

  • Among Ivy League institutions, Yale University’s full professors had the lowest gender wage gap, with women earning 93.8% of what men earned.38 
  • Dartmouth has the highest gender wage gap, at 17.2%.39 
  • Women and men instructors receive lower pay than those in higher academic ranks (e.g., lecturers, tenured professors), and the gender wage gap for instructors tends to be smaller than it is at higher academic ranks.40 
    • Women instructors earned $49,320 a year, compared to $50,958 for men instructors.41 
Women Have Low Representation in Business Schools 


  • Women were 23.6% of tenured faculty and 19.0% of full professors at business schools.42 
  • Women held 19.3% of dean positions and 33.1% of associate dean positions.43 
Women Make Some Progress in Academic Leadership 

From 1986 to 2011 the number of women college and university presidents jumped from 10% to 26%, a 160% increase.44 

  • Racial diversity dropped for all people of color, however, from 14% to 13% between 2006 and 2011.45 
  • Women are more likely to lead two-year institutions than four-year institutions.46 
    • About 33% of community college presidents are women compared to 23% of bachelor’s and master’s institutions and 22% of doctoral institutions.47 
  • During the academic year 2013-2014, 48% of newly appointed provosts and 42% of new deans were women.48


Additional Resources


How to cite this product: Catalyst. Quick Take: Women in Academia. New York: Catalyst, July 9, 2015.