The Gender Gap in Higher Education
The fact is that while women make up a majority of the student population, this does not translate into higher education leadership positions or in the faculty. Less than two thirds of university presidents or senior academics are women. They also make up a minority of research paper authors. What is the reason for this gap in research paper authors? Let’s find the answer. Read on to learn more about how to narrow the gender gap in higher education.
Females make up 57.4% for Bachelor’s Degrees
The gender gap in higher education is widening in many fields, but it remains a relatively static share for the humanities. From the mid-1960s through the early 2000s, the number of women with bachelor’s degrees grew from 54% up to more than 60%, except for the study of arts. The percentage of women who have earned bachelor’s degrees in the last 20 years has remained at 58%.
Although men have always been more educated than women, they are still significantly behind their female counterparts in terms of college completion. The U.S. Department of Education notes that women earned 57.4 percent of Bachelor’s degrees in the 2016-2017 academic year, compared to 53.3 percent of male graduates. Despite this, women remain underrepresented in the top corporate positions in the country and are paid less than men, despite the growing number of college graduates.
They earn 58.4 percent of Master’s degrees
The Gender Gap in Higher Education is a staggering statistic, with women earning 58.4 percent of Master’s degrees in 2014. In 2015, women earned more than three-quarters of all graduate degrees in public administration, health sciences, and education, and just under one-third in computer science, engineering, and mathematics. The gender gap was even greater when compared with doctoral degrees. Men earned two-thirds of the same as women in these fields.
The reasons for not pursuing college are surprisingly similar. Both men and women indicate that they were not motivated to earn a college degree. One-third of men without a bachelor’s degree didn’t complete college, whereas one-fourth of women did not attend college at all. Furthermore, men who do not have a college degree say they did not need a four-year degree.
They perform poorly in math
According to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), women perform poorly at math because they are underrepresented. This gap can partly be attributed to differences in math ability between men and women, but it cannot be explained entirely by differences in math skills. Researchers attribute the gap to a complex psychological syndrome that includes lower math self-esteem, fears about failure, and stereotype threat.
Gender gaps in mathematics have been shown to be linked to social improvements for women in most countries. For example, in countries such as Sweden and Turkey, where there were no gender gaps, girls perform at nearly half as well as boys do in math. As equality improved, so did the number of girls who reached the top. In Iceland, there were 117 girls for every 100 boys in the top one percent.