Frisch seminar: Marte Ulvestad

Longitudinal evidence on Norwegian PhDs suggests women academics confront speed bumps but neither a leaky pipeline or glass ceiling

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Abstract: We find that approximately 90% of the gap between the percent female among doctorates and full professors in Norwegian academia can be accounted for by demographic/historical factors. For the rest, a leaky pipeline is not a good metaphor for gender differences. Women enter (i.e. flow into) academia at either similar or greater rates than men and get promoted to associate with tenure at similar rates. However, we find a 15-percentage point difference between men and women the likelihood of being promoted to full professorship, controlling for cohort, field and PhD institution. Finally, longitudinal data allows us to follow these women through several decades, and we find that women do eventually catch up with men, after about 20 years. We conclude that rather than leaking from the pipeline, women are more likely to enter academia. They proceed more slowly towards promotion but there is no glass ceiling and eventually end up in the same place. We conduct a similar analysis in the US (using NSF longitudinal data) and find that in the US, women do leak out both by never entering academia and by dropping out in the first 10 years, and their rate of full professorship never catches up with men’s.


Published July 29, 2021 1:04 PM - Last modified Oct. 11, 2021 7:40 AM