Equality is not a Feeling, 4.0

Another illustration of a way to measure (in)equality in the Mormon church (for other measurements, see here, here, and here). 

Today we’re looking at male-female faculty representation in higher education in general (degree-granting institutions, in the U.S.) versus male-female faculty representation at BYU.  Now before I get too excited, I should say–right out of the gate–that higher ed is not the bastion of gender equality that it would like to claim itself to be.  So the numbers in both charts are sobering, in my opinion–especially when you realize that more than 50% of college degrees are granted to female students.  In 2013, 56.7% of all bachelor’s degrees, 59.9% of all master’s degrees, and 51.6% of all doctoral degrees are earned by women (click here for more info).

So something is happening between graduation and employment and between getting a job and promotion or else these numbers would look really different than they do now.  Also, of course, we have to take into account that these are current figures, so we should expect to see a change in the future.

With that caveat, here’s the male-female breakdown, nationally:

2013 10 20 higher ed pie charts national

And here’s the male-female breakdown for BYU:

2013 10 20 byu tenure track pie charts

So BYU is about 18 percentage points behind the curve in terms of tenured professors, 20 percentage points behind in terms of tenure-track/assistant professors, and the opposite of the national average in terms of the breakdown of instructors/lecturers.  I’m not sure to what to attribute that .  Why are there so many more male instructors/lecturers at BYU? 

Now, I know that BYU professor ranks do not equal priesthood.  Of course not.  But I think it’s safe ground to look at BYU–a church-funded institution run by general authorities–and say that this gender breakdown is related to church doctrine and culture with regard to men’s and women’s roles in life.  I don’t think that’s a stretch at all.

As someone with a daughter about a year away from choosing a college, these numbers sure give me pause.


[For more Equality is not a Feeling posts, see the archive here.]