Monday, January 14, 2008

More on Gender and Historians' Careers

This follows up on the discussion from my last post, about the gender imbalance among legal historians.

Thanks to Ann Bartow for pointing us to Historiann's discussion of the panel at the AHA onThe Leaky Pipeline: Issues of Retention, Promotion, and Quality of Life for Women in the Historical Profession. Historiann points us to the 2005 report on The Status of Women in the History Profession, which Mary has also discussed.

I think legalhistoryblog readers might be particularly interested in this statement from Historiann:
Finally, and “even more importantly,” Hewitt points out that “as history has become an increasingly feminized field, the university has not become more nurturing or egalitarian. Instead, the inequities of the profession, which long affected men, are now affecting women, too.” (Arguably, these inequalities accelerated right around the time women integrated the faculty. Historiann’s recent post on the rise of Corporate University and the pressure for academics to do more more more with fewer resources.) In further correspondence with Hewitt, she explained that “the corporatization of the university and the decline in tenure and tenure-track lines has come just as women have expanded into the professoriat, in History and in general, and these developments have made it much harder for women to enjoy some of the traditional benefits of the academic life.” This Wal-Martification of universities is a crucial metacontext for understanding (if not entirely explaining) all of the aforementioned changes in women’s employment conditions. It also may explain why women are nearly half of all new Ph.D.’s, but remain underrepresented in the numbers of regular faculty members: they appear to be far overrepresented among adjunct faculty and other at-will lecturer positions. Thus, like Wal-Mart, universities disadvantage all their workers, but women are more disadvantaged than male workers.
Al Brophy