"Columbia Women's Liberation, Report from the Committee on Discrimination Against Women Faculty" Barnard Alumnae Magazine, Spring 1970, page 1

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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

‘ 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,