Women are increasingly occupying top jobs at the nation’s top universities, the New York Times reported recently. There are three woman presidents at the eight Ivy League colleges and 22 percent of all presidents at 2,000 colleges surveyed are women, according to the American Council of Education. That more than doubles the 9.5 percent of presidents who were women in 1986 and quadruples the 5 percent in 1975. The Times surmised that this increase could be attributed to a growing number of women with administrative experience and because women are now 56 percent of all college students.
However, while women are entering the lowest faculty ranks at almost the same rate as men – women make up 45 percent of assistant professors – only 20 percent of full professors are women. “At one time, people thought that if you just put enough people in the system at the front end, they would rise to the top,” said Nancy Hopkins, a biology professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who demonstrated three years ago that there was a bias against women in science. “That didn’t happen. It turned out to be a slower process than we thought it would be. Women just weren’t getting through to the top in greater numbers.”