Wide gap between male, female faculty members

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Of the 77 full-time Franklin College professors, less than half are female, while nearly 56 percent are male.

Meanwhile, 59 percent of part-time professors, including adjuncts and lecturers, are female.

The remaining 41 percent are male.

Human Resource Manager Maureen Pinnick said the difference was even greater when she first arrived to Franklin College 10 years ago.

But what causes this wide gap in diversity?

“Just like in any other organization, the women will take off work to help raise a family,” Pinnick said. “If I look back 10 years ago, I bet there would be a bigger difference between that male and female ratio because our numbers have really increased with female full-time faculty.”

Nationwide, in 2013 there were 1.5 million faculty members in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, including professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, assisting professors, adjunct professors, and interim professors, according to a study from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Fifty-eight percent of full-time professors in the study were white males, while 26 percent were white females.

In the study, two percent of black full-time professors were males, and another two percent were females.

Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indiana/Alaska Native and of two or more races were also included in the data, making up the remaining eight percent.

Pinnick could not provide an exact answer to describe these differences.

Freshman Anna King has only one female professor this semester — a change from her high school where a majority of her teachers were female.

“I’ve noticed that I click more with a female professor than I would with a male professor,” King said. “All teachers teach differently, not depending on their gender, but it’s a different environment walking into a female professor’s classroom rather than a male’s, and vice versa.”

While King said she would prefer a female professor over a male professor due to the level of comfort, she still likes all her professors equally.

Some nationwide organizations commit themselves to increasing the number of women in leadership positions across the country, such as the Institute for Women’s Leadership.

The national institute completed a study in 2003. Women formed 24 percent of all full-time professors in the nation, compared to the men with 76 percent.

Pinnick said diversity among faculty members on a college campus is “very important.”

“If the students are exposed to that type of diversity, they learn so much more,” she said. “You get so much more out of an education by having diversity all across the board.

About Shelby Mullis 24 Articles
Shelby Mullis is the copy chief of The Franklin. She is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com and teaches English as a second language to Chinese students overseas. Shelby enjoys exploring, writing, eating potatoes and admiring local weatherman Chuck Lofton.

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