It is well known that philosophy lags behind all the other humanities, most of the social sciences, and many of the sciences in its gender diversity. Current estimates indicate that women account for around 20% (+ 3%) of philosophers, from graduate students to full professors. There is much less agreement about why the numbers are so low, although untested hypotheses abound.
But while philosophers are very good at generating hypotheses, they have no particular expertise in collecting and analyzing empirical data to test them, especially regarding complex social phenomena such as a gender gap. The Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP) is in a unique position to investigate the reason(s) for the gap because it is a cross-disciplinary professional organization whose membership includes psychologists who have the appropriate training for investigating this issue. Independently, the SPP has had an ongoing interest in gender diversity due to the severity of the gap in philosophy of mind and related areas in particular, and has an active diversity committee composed of philosophers and psychologists. The APA’s Committee on the Status of Women has been very active within the APA regarding information on or related to women philosophers (including graduate students). The focus of this project would be to understand the reasons for the gender gap itself.
Our proposal is to use this grant as seed money to develop an empirical study of the gap. The actual study would require further grant money, which we would seek from the NEH, the AAUW, and other sources we are able to identify. The project also has the strong support of the officers and executive committee members of the SPP, who will endeavor to find ways for the SPP to contribute financially within the constraints of its very limited resources.
For more, go here. (Thanks, L!)