In Philosophy Departments, More Women Faculty Means More Women Students Earning PhDs


Among U.S. philosophy departments with graduate programs, those with a higher proportion of women faculty award more PhDs to women students.

That finding is the work of Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside) and is reported at his blog, The Splintered Mind.

Schwitzgebel notes that a previous study by Molly Paxton, Carrie Figdor, and Valerie Tiberius showed “some evidence of a relationship between departments’ proportion of women faculty, women undergraduates, and women graduate students.” His study looked at a larger sample of philosophy departments and focuses on the number of PhDs earned, rather than on the number of students enrolled.

Here’s a chart of the correlation Schwitzgebel found:

He writes:

The correlation is substantial r = .42 (p < .001). For example, although only 37 of the 97 universities had over 25% women faculty, all ten of the universities that had the highest proportion of women among their Philosophy PhD recipients did.

He found no relationship of correlation between number of women among an institution’s philosophy faculty and the number of undergraduate degrees in philosophy awarded to women.

More details here.

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