Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Women on the Board

Also via Inside Higher Ed, more women seem to be getting a spot on the boards of colleges and universities. It seems the percentage of women has increased from 20 percent in 1981 to 30 percent in 2007. I fear, though that this number may be stuck there. It seems that the number of women among traditionally male-dominated fields does make gains -- until the percentage of women hits about 30 percent and then the gains mysteriously stop. It's historically been the case with women on op ed pages for years.

I'm not sure what causes the stop. Perhaps there's a sense that "some" women are needed, so there becomes a conscientious effort to include women. For some reason, the magical percentage of 30 satisfies that need for the "some." As soon as a few women are on board, the pressure is relieved and the sense of urgency to hire women disappears.

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