FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2022
New Research Shows Women in the Leadership Pipeline in Higher Education Have Better Representation and Pay in Institutions With Female Presidents and Provosts
New research by CUPA-HR has found that U.S. colleges and universities with women presidents or provosts have higher representation of women in administrative, dean and faculty positions than institutions led by men. The study also found that colleges and universities with women presidents have higher pay for women in administrative positions than institutions led by men. These positions tend to be pipelines for the senior-most executive positions in higher ed, which underscores the significance of the findings.
Women Administrators Pay and Representation in Institutions With Female Presidents
Findings show that institutions with female presidents have a higher percentage of women in all administrative categories — senior institutional officers, institutional administrators and heads of divisions. Although female administrators are generally paid less than male administrators in the same positions regardless of the sex of the president, female senior institutional officers, institutional administrators, and heads of divisions are paid more equitably at institutions with a female president than at institutions with a male president.
Female Deans and Faculty Pay and Representation in Institutions With Female Provosts
Institutions with female provosts have a significantly higher representation of women in dean positions and in all faculty ranks. Provost sex does not have a strong or consistent impact on pay equity for deans and faculty; however, it is worth noting that better representation at higher faculty ranks and in dean positions has an impact on pay, as these positions make higher salaries.
The representation of women drops with successive faculty ranks (from assistant to associate to full professor). These promotions represent the few times in a faculty member’s career when appreciable salary increases are granted. If women are not being promoted, they are not receiving these pay raises. In addition, those in dean positions are generally promoted from senior faculty ranks. Therefore, if women are not adequately represented in senior faculty, they will not have the same likelihood as men of being considered for a higher-paying dean position.
To sum up the findings, higher ed institutions with female executives have better representation of women throughout their institutions in positions that: a) are paid higher salaries and b) serve as key points in the executive leadership pipeline. Jackie Bichsel, CUPA-HR’s director of research and co-author of the new report, noted that, “In an era where institutions are adapting to shifting workforce expectations, adjusting to continuous decreases in budgets, contemplating changes in enrollment, addressing challenges of recruitment and retention, and rethinking their mission, more openness to change and less tolerance of risk may be just what is needed to navigate this new landscape. Providing more (and more equitable) opportunities for women to advance within higher education seems an obvious path forward in this navigation.”
CUPA-HR is the recognized authority on compensation surveys for higher education, with its salary surveys designed by higher ed HR professionals for higher ed HR professionals and other campus leaders. This marks CUPA-HR’s 24th year of data collection on higher education professionals. Learn more about CUPA-HR research.
CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving more than 33,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at nearly 2,000 member institutions and organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.
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