"Columbia Women's Liberation, Report from the Committee on Discrimination Against Women Faculty" Barnard Alumnae Magazine, Spring 1970
Barnard Alumnae Magazine Spring 1970 Columbia Women's Liberation Report from the Committee on Discrimination Against Women Faculty A Columbia Women’s Liberation group, formed in the spring of 1969, grew out of women’s consciousness that the problems of sexual status must be articulated in political and economic terms. We concentrate on the problems that women face in common because of society’s attitudes . . . problems which are not a matter for individual adjustment but require group action. As a university organization, we can focus on several areas: education and curricular questions; health care; employment practices as they affect teaching and administrative staff; the criteria for awarding graduate school fellowships; child care. This report summarizes the research of a small group of graduate students and junior faculty who are concerned about the employment practices of this university. Our method is simple. We have tabulated the number of women and men doing the same job. Percentages of the totals may then be constructed. In the case of ambiguous catalogue listings, by calling Department offices we double-checked names whose gender was unclear. The report uses the catalogues of the various divisions of the university, the yearly publication recording the names and fields of all Master’s and Doctor’s degrees awarded, the American Association of University Professors’ annual salary reports, national statistics and a few other relevant publications.‘ The only fully satisfactory way to prove discriminatory practices would be the case-history method. We did not have the facilities to carry out a proper investigation along these lines, but the university should consider making such a study. Information could be sought from former and present faculty members, male and female, and from unsuccessful applicants of both sexes for positions at Columbia and Barnard. The criteria of departmental hiring committees could be investigated and assessed. The study should be extended to include comparable schools where similar hiring criteria will operate. Salary scales for women and men must be compared, as well as their rates of promotion. Clearly we recommend broader and more detailed studies, since ours is only an introduction to the facts of discrimination. 4 In studying the different numbers of men and women employed by the various divisions of Columbia University, we did not assume that a 50/50 ratio was either immediately desirable or justifiable. We based our expectation of the proportion of female faculty to male on the proportion of women known to have the appropriate training, namely a Ph.D., excluding for the time being most other factors affecting the employment of men and women with Ph.D.s. For example, there is evidence that suggests that women in some fields should be represented in higher proportions than that of degrees earned on the grounds that women are more likely than men to be employed by educational V institutions, the men working instead in industry and government.’ A fuller 0 -l 3 ‘ The figures on degrees earned by subject and sex are taken from Federal Security Agency, Office of Education, Circular numbers 262 (1949), 28221 (1950), 3333 (1951), 3602. (1952) ; Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office of Education, Circular numbc-.rs.380a (1953), 418 (1954), 461 (1955), 499 (1956), 527 (1957), 570 (1958). And OE 54010-59; OE 54010-60; OE 54010-61; “Earned Degrees Conferred 1961-2”; OE 50039-63; OE 54010-65; OE 54013a-66. Degrees earned in general by sex, from 1900-1957, from IIi.itorical Statistics 0/ the United States: Colonial Times to 1957 (Series H327-338). Statistics from 1957-66 are aggregations of the disaggregated data from Office of Education circulars. 9 Women and the Scientific Profession, edited by Jacquelyn A. Hatfield and Carolyn G. Van Aken, Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1965, p. 63. VVOn1en are, however,
report would have to consider such factors. Since a woman does not invest time, energy and money in obtaining a doctorate in order to be a better wife and mother or more entertaining companion for her husband, women should be represented in a proportion that reflects the numbers of doctorates going to women. Those who argue that a woman’s » commitment to her profession differs from that of a man must be able to cite detailed studies of the career patterns of highly trained women.° Women earned an average of 15 per cent of all doctorates awarded during the 1940s; an average of 10 per cent of all doctorates awarded during the 19505; and an average of 11 per cent during the 19605. Given the normal timetable of the academic career, we would expect to find the women who earned their degrees in the 19405 represented now in the higher ranks of the faculty of Columbia and comparable institutions in a proportion of 15 per cent, and in the lower ranks in a proportion of 10 per cent. The following table, drawn from Columbia’s catalogues for the academic year 1968-69 tells another story.‘ How Should W/omen Be Represented? Associates Associate Assistant Preccptors Scrroor. Professor Professor Professor Instructor Lecturer Assistants Columbia 1/133 0/68 7/101 8/76 -—— 20/50 College (0.7%) (0%) (6.5%) (9.5%) (29%) Law 0/34 0/2 0/4 — —- —— School (0%) (0%) (0%) School of 1 Dental & 0/78 1/70 1/102 0/54 —~ ' 0/31 Oral Surgery (0%) (1%) (1%) (0%) (0%) School of 3/87 0/23 1/17 0/1 —— -- Int’l. Affairs v (3%) (0%) (6%) V (0%) School of 2/37 0/23 0/13 ——- —- -— Business (5%) (0%) (0%) General 5/49 8/28 8/48 17/42 -—- 1 24/43 Studies (9%) (22%) (14%) (29%) (36%) Graduate 8/367 10/74 "7/52 — I -- Faculties (2.1%) (12%) (12%) Barnard 11/38 12/12 21/12 15/16 ' —— 23/5 College (22%) (50%) (64%) (48%) (82%) American 0/3 129/16 Language — -— - ~— —- (0% ) (64%) Program . EXPLANATION: The figures given above are the ratio of women to men in that category. The figures in parentheses below this ratio are the percentages of the total number of teachers represented by women. more likely to earn a Ph.D. in the humanities rather than in science. In 1966, for example, 17.4% of the doctorates in the humanities and social sciences went to women although only 11% of all Ph.D.s awarded went to women. 3 A study of 1,979 women who received doctorates in the years 1957-8 showed that 91% were working, 81% of them full-time. (Helen Astin, The Woman Doctorate, Basic Books, 1970, quoted by Malcolm J. Scully, “Women in Higher Education Challenging the Status Quo,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 9, 1970, pp. 2-5, especially p. 4). 4 For professional‘ schools such as Law, Dental and Oral Surgery, International BARNARD ALUMNAE'/ SPRING 1970 / 13
Summary Barnard College and What It Imlirates For full professors in the eight divisions that employ them, the actual percentage is 5.2 per cent (2.8 per cent if Barnard is excluded). This compares rather badly with the 15 per cent of doctorates that were earned by women in this age group. The Barnard figure hardly compensates for the lack of female representation in the other, better-paid divisions. Even at Barnard, 78 per cent of the full professors are men. In the 19505, women received 10 per cent of the doctorates awarded. Since in over half the divisions shown on the chart, women are not represented at all at the Associate Professor level, there is no need to belabor this disturbing lack. In the lower ranks, women constitute a much higher proportion of the total teaching staff than they do at the upper levels. Women received 11 per cent of the Ph.D.s awarded between 1960-58. At some divisions of Columbia, their numbers exceed this proportion at both Assistant Professor and Instructor levels. However, this distribution begins ‘to reveal another aspect of the university’s hiring practices. Overall, women are concentrated in the lower ranks, and have been for several years. They are also to some degree segregated by sex by being confined to Barnard College, General Studies and the Graduate Faculties. Women constitute a majority of only one category-— part-time employment (Preceptors, Assistants and Associates). This data reflects two major tendencies. The greater the proportion of women students, the greater the number of women faculty at all ranks. Second, the higher the rank and the better the pay, the fewer the number of women at that rank. While to some minds this arrangement may have an appealing symmetry, we believe that it reflects and reinforces a marked inequality of opportunity and compensation. The role of Barnard College as an equalizer in the otherwise male~dominated Columbia community is worth examining for other clues about the status of women. Although 78 per cent of Barnard’s full professors are men, the number of men and women employed in full-time teaching there is almost equal. Barnard and Wellesley are the only Seven Sisters colleges to hire more women than men, 1 but at all these colleges except Wellesley, men control the full professorships and the chairmanships.5 Even the one group of educational institutions founded to give women college educations and access to professional careers do not, after more than 50 years of activity, serve as models demonstrating to the rest of the community the abilities of women to manage demanding careers in responsible positions theoretically open to them. All these women’s colleges lack the endowment of their male equivalents; all of them have fewer facilities; all pay lower salaries to their faculty. The differences between Barnard and Columbia salaries are well known, ‘Affairs and Business, the proportion of degrees earned by women is a more accurate guide than the overall proportion of doctorates earned by women. The following data for post-1949 degrees will give some idea of the proportion of Ph.D.s going to women in these subjects. 1949-53 -1954-59 1961-6 Law ~ .02 .03 .04- History .11 .12 .11 Political Science .08 .06 .08 Sociology .14 .14 .19 Economics .06 .04 .05 Business ' i .07 .03 1 .03 5 Token Learning: A Study 0/ Women’s Higher Education in America, Education Committee of the National Organization for Women, New York Chapter (Kate Millet, Chairman), 1968, pp. 37-40.
varying from an average of over $5,500 at the full professor level to $1,765 at assistant professor level.‘ Columbia Full Professor: $22,540 average compensation Barnard Full Professor: $16,892 average compensation Columbia Associate Prof.: $14,909 average compensation Barnard Associate Prof.: $12,188 average compensation - Columbia Assistant Prof.: $11,486 average compensation _ Barnard Assistant Prof.: $9,721 average compensation It should be noted that not only the absolute but also the percentage differential in compensation between Barnard and Columbia increases with rank. These salary differences do not measure relative excellence but rather punish those engaged in the education of women. They are a direct reflection of the value society places on women’s education and on women’s role in society. We suggest it is urgent that Barnard bring salaries up to the level of those at Columbia in order to prevent further penalization of Barnard’s faculty. Statistics for the Graduate Faculties of Columbia, the division responsible for training graduate students and granting degrees, show a startling contrast between the percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to women and the percentage of women employed full-time, especially in tenured positions. The rise in percentages of doctorates awarded to women may mean that more women are going on to a .Ph.D. after completing the MA program than used to be the case. Investigation is needed in this area. Thirty-eight per cent of current graduate students are women. DOCTORATES AWARDED 1956-7 1960-61 1964-65 1966-67 1967-8 Female 11 39 75 88 99 ' Male 229 300 369 298 307 % Female 4.6% 11.5% 16.9% 22.8% 24.3% As the table shows, the proportion of Columbia doctorates awarded to women has risen steadily from 4.6 per cent to 24 per cent in a decade. The percentage of women with tenure in the Graduate Faculties has, however, remained steady at just over 2 per cent since 1957. TENURED FACULTY IN -THE GRADUATE FAGULTXES7 1957-58 1958-59 1959-60 1965-66 1966-67 1968-69 Female 7 8 7 9 9 8 Male 287 318 298 348 370 367 % Female 2.4% 2.4% 2.6% 2.5% 2.3% 2.1% In recent years this meager percentage has even suffered a decline. VVe think that it is essential for Columbia University to hire more women in the Graduate Faculties, particularly since it is clear that to do so requires no sacriﬁce of standards. We are puzzled by the Graduate Faculties’ commitment to train women, but not to hire them. We know from experience as students and teachers that it is vital for women students in graduate school to see women engaged in the academic profession as naturally as men are. At present, many/vs/omen students will never have any contacts with such role models, or,will meet so few that they become used to the idea of women as exceptions in the more demanding areas of the academic world. Students will not be unaware either that most of the tenured women they AAUP Bulletin 1968. Compensation is defined as salary plus fringe benefits. 7 Part-time and visiting appointments are excluded, as are cross-listed appointments. BARNARD ALUMNAE / SPRING 1970 / 15 Graduate Faculties and the
meet are single, and thus in theory able to devote more of their time to their profession than their married male colleagues. They will not be unaware either that the small number of women with tenure in the Graduate Faculties are all exceptionally distinguished scholars, whose presence helps perpetuate the unfortunate idea that to succeed in any professional career, a woman has to be not just as good, but several times as good as a man. Tokenism is always based on abnormal criteria of excellence in order to limit the number of qualified people of certain races and sexes with access to a profession. Its cost is the high expectation of failure for the discriminated group. By the obvious scarcity of women training women graduates, the institution acclimatizes women students to their professional expectations: low rank, low pay, low status, a slower rate of promotion than their male colleagues and a more difficult tenure hurdle. We note that the percentage of women at assistant professor level has risen from 4 per cent in 1962-63 to 15 per cent in 1968-69. It will be interesting to see whether the rise at this level is reflected over the next five years in an increase in the number of women in the Graduate Faculties with tenure. The absolute number of women instructors has risen slightly but the percentage of women at that rank has declined from 22 per cent in 1963-5 to 13 per cent in 1968-69. Non-Tenured Ranks, Graduate Faculties Ass1s'rAN_'r PROFESSORS 1962-63 1963-64 1964-65 1966-67 1967-68 1968-69 Female 3 6 4 6 10 14 Male 72 71 64- 84- 74- 78 % Female 4% 7.7% 5.9% 6.6% 11.9% 15.2% INSTRUCTORS 1962-63 1963-64 1964-65 ‘ 1966-67 1967-68 1968-69 ‘Female 4 13 1 9 9 ' 7 ’ 11’ ' Male - 28 '45 31 35 52 73 % Female 16.5% 22.4% 22.5% 20.4% 11.9% 13.2% The percentage of doctorates going to women in subjects long stereotyped as masculine are in some cases surprisingly high. In the years 1966-68, which will be quoted throughout this section, 10 per cent of the Chemistry doctorates went to women; 8.6 per cent of the Physics doctorates went to women; but no women earned doctorates in the ﬁelds of Geology, Mathematics or Mathematical ‘Statistics. Columbia has had in the recent past women as Professors of Physics, Chemistry and Microbiology, and has women as Professors of Biochemistry and Physics at the moment. The following section compares percentages of doctorates awarded to women in specific Departments with the percentages of female faculty in that Department. Cross-listed faculty are excluded because their appointment and teaching duties are not primarily in the Graduate Faculties. French: 66.6% of their doctorates went to women; no full-time female faculty. Art History & Archeology: 54% of their doctorates went to women; 26% of the tenured faculty is female; 71% of the non-tenured faculty. Biological Sciences: 45% of their doctorates went to women;-9.5% of the tenured faculty is female; 33% of the non-tenured (La. 2 men, 1 woman).
Anthropology: 44% of their doctorates went to women; no full-time female faculty. Psychology: 36% of their doctorates went to women; no female faculty. English & Comparative Literature: 27% of their doctorates went to women; 4% (1 woman) of their tenured faculty is female. i Sociology: 26.6% of their doctorates went to women; in 1967-8 they had one female assistant professor. History: 17% of their doctorates went to women; 2 women on their faculty. Philosophy: 17% of their doctorates went to women; no women faculty. Public Law and Government: 16% of their doctorates went to women; they have one female instructor. There are 35 men in the department, 26 of them full professors. It will quickly be seen that only the Department of Art History and Archeology hires women in numbers even close to the proportion of women they train. We believe that women should be fairly represented at least in those departments that attract a proportion of women in excess of 15 per cent. Women should in fact be hired in all Departments.“ We realize that these ﬁgures do not prove that Columbia University has in the past discriminated or is new discriminating against women. Given i these statistics, however, it will be difficult to disprove discrimination. An l examination of the data does lead one to believe that some discrimination i ‘must occur, for it is clear that the number of women who hold faculty positions l is remarkably small, and is in most cases below the national average of labor i available for that category. Here it is worth noting that the per cent of women working in all institutions of Higher Education in the United States is 22 per ,cent.9 We believe that women are by and large excluded from the more prestigious colleges and universities and must find employment instead in teachers colleges, the smaller liberal arts colleges and junior colleges, where in fact they can be found in proportions ranging from 34 per cent to 42 per cent.‘° Undoubtedly it will be argued that academic women marry and drop out of the labor market while their children are small at least. We would be interested in ﬁgures based on Columbia’s past employment patterns that In 1960 John Parrish studied the distribution and numbers of women faculty in ten high endowment and ten high enrollment institutions of higher education (“Women in Top Level Teaching and Research”, Journal of the American Association of University Women, Vol. LV, 1962, Jan., pp. 103-109). Table 4- shows their distribution by subject, varying from 93.1% of Home Economics faculty to .2% of Engineering faculty. Columbia was among the high endowment institutions studied. The percent of women faculty by rank in the eight institutions with high endowment who responded to the questionnaire in 1960 was: Full Professor —— 2.6%; Associate Professor —--— 7.5% ; Assistant Professor — 8.5%; Instructor —- 9.8%. With Barnard excluded, Columbizr’s current faculty i’ enrollment shows a lower percentage of women at all ranks than Parrish’s 1960 study. 9 Scully, “Women in Higher Education,” p. 2. The median salary of women in Higher Education was 16.5% less than that of men in 1965-6 and 18% less in 1968. lojessie Bernard, Academic Women, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1964-, provides many useful statistics on the distribution of women in American institutions of higher education. BARNARD ALUMNAE / SPRING 1970 / 17
substantiate such claims. Other studies have shown that the more training a woman receives and the better her job, the more likely she is to remain in full—time employment, even if she has children.“ Academic women are also more likely to remain single than other women, and to have small families when they do marry.” A trained woman is also ﬁnancially in a position to hire domestic and child-care help for those tasks she wishes to delegate. Granted these observations, we suspect any explanation of the position of women in academic life that relies too heavily on the conditions of their supply rather than on the conditions of the market’s demand for them. Recommendations Given the ﬁndings of this report, we call upon the university, perhaps through the Senate, to undertake four tasks: 1. to prepare a full study of the status of women faculty in the university, using sources that were not available to us, e.g. salaries. Half at least of the persons concerned with that study should be women. 2. to declare its unequivocal support of the right of women to equal employment opportunities and equal pay compared with those of men of comparable qualifications and ability. Such a declaration will mean the hiring of more women at all ranks in all divisions and a review of their salaries. 3. to engage in intelligent discussions of child care and paid leave for child birth, available to all employees of the university, whether faculty, administration or staff. 4-. to invite submission of reports of alleged discrimination to a Committee on Employment Practices, and further to have such a Committee initiate investigations into the ‘hiring patterns that may be discerned in various departments and divisions of the university. This report was prepared by Rachel DuPlessis [Rachel Blau ’63] Preceptor, English;.Linda Edwards, graduate student, Economics; Ann Sutherland Harris, , Assistant Professor, Art History 8: Archeology; Kate Millett, Instructor, Philosophy (Barnard); and Harriet Zellner, graduate student, Economics. Joan Mitchell collected the catalogues. Cl “ See note 3. See also Evelyne Sullerot, Histoire et Sociologie du Travail Feminin, Editions Gonthicr, Paris, 1968, pp. 300-302. Columbia University does not own this book, the best comprehensive study of women and work published to date. Sullerot (p. 318) also cites French studies that show absenteeism among women lessens in inverse proportion to the degree of education they have received, and that level of education is a more important factor than either marriage or the arrival of children. '9 Women and the Scientific Professions, p. 75 and Womrlnjzower, National Manpower Council, New York, 1957, p. 75. }essie Bernard also notices this factor. 18 Appendix _ . Faculty by Ram/e and Sex, 1969-70 Columbia College, Bamzzrcl College Grmlzmte Faculties, General Studies Ratio of Per Cent Women to Men Women Columbia College Full Professors 2 1/125 Under 1% Associate Prof. 0/50 0 Assistant Prof. 7/88 7.3 Instructor 14/61' 18 , Preceptor 15/38 28; Barnard College Full Professor 9/31 22 Associate Prof. 16/29 54- Assistant Prof. 24/33 74- Instructor 11/20 55 General Studies Full Professor 3/45 6 Associate Prof. 3/37 7.5 Assistant Prof. 17/71 19 Instructor 12/25 32 Graduate Faculties Full Professor 6/324 1 Associate Prof. 2/73 2.6 Assistant Prof. 6/42 12.5 Instructor 2/4 66 Assistant, Associate and Full Professors With Ph.D.s Granted Between 1960 and 1970 by Sex (Barnard Excluded as Dates of Ph.D.s Not Given by Catalogues). Male Female Asst. Prof. 91 (47%) 24- (96%) Assoc. Prof 74 (38%) 1 (4%) Full Prof. 30 (15%) 0 (0%) 195 (100%) 25 (100%) If women faculty with Ph.D.s granted in the 19505 were distributed in the three ranks as men faculty are now, there would be 3 female full professors, 9 female associate prof- essors and 13 female assistant professors. The average date of the Ph.D. awarded to the women in the assistant professor category is 1965; of the men 1966. Well over 50 per cent of the men with 1964- and 1963 Ph.D.s are associate professors; none of the women in that category have been promoted.