Women in the French academy

I wanted to repost a useful graphic from a French academic feminist group in Lyon. The self-explanatory title reads (approximately), “Women’s share declines, the higher you go up the hierarchy.”

Source: https://lessalopettes.wordpress.com/conseils-aux-universaires-de-genre-masculin/

The actual data (from 2011) is quite revealing as well: women are 57.6% of French public university undergraduates and Master’s students, 48% of doctoral students, 42.4% of junior faculty (maîtres.ses de conférences), only 22.5% of senior faculty (professeur.es des universités), and only 14.8% of university presidents. (French University presidents are elected from among the permanent faculty, so it makes more sense to put them on this scale than you might think.)

I’m fond of this form of demographic analysis. By themselves, gender ratios (and other relative demographics) don’t always tell you that much, but when you can show that there is a clear trend across a hierarchy (e.g., women are progressively filtered out at higher levels), a series of gender balances suddenly becomes a clear illustration of a much broader process of gendered discrimination.

Incidentally, the page in question is generally devoted to anti-sexist “advice for academic men” (borrowed loosely from this English original text), some of which is so painfully obvious as to make one despair that it actually needs saying. For instance, “don’t reduce women to their appearance,” “share the administrative work,” and “listen to women.”

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