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Title: Women’s Careers in Academic Social Science: Progress, Pitfalls, and Plateaus

Authors: Donna Ginther


We evaluate whether gender differences in the likelihood of obtaining a tenure track job, promotion to tenure, and promotion to full professor explain the under-representation of women in academic social science using the 1973-2001 Survey of Doctorate Recipients. We find that women are less likely to take tenure track positions in social science, but the gender gap is entirely explained by fertility decisions. We find significant gender differences in promotion to tenure and full professor after controlling for demographic, family, employer and productivity covariates. Despite progress in obtaining tenure track appointments, women’s careers in the social sciences are marked by pitfalls and plateaus in terms of promotion to tenure and full professor.