By now we are all aware of the “problem that has no name” that plagues philosophy: philosophers are committed egalitarians and philosophers pride themselves on their objectivity, yet philosophy is the least diverse and least gender equitable of all disciplines in the humanities, rivaling those in the STEM areas. Here at Feminist Philosophers we’ve spent a great deal of time analyzing different aspects and nuances of this issue. Our efforts towards remedying the problem include the Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC) with which readers are surely familiar by now. The GCC has led to considerable success and many conference organizers have responded with gratitude and action.
It is our hope that we might make a similar positive impact by attended to another symptom (or cause – or both – who knows!?) of “the woman problem” in philosophy: all-male philosophy departments (which are usually also all white, heterosexual, able-bodied, cis male departments). Too many all-male departments persist in philosophy, despite alleged efforts to counter this problem. How many times have I heard “We really wanted a woman for this position, but there just weren’t any strong female applicants.” Really? Wow.
It’s time to consider strategies for making all-male philosophy departments a thing of the past, or at least a rarity. Obviously, the same strategies we suggest in the GCC will not work here. Departments are not in control of faculty lines. Are there, however, any exemplars we might highlight – strategies that have successfully diversified departments? Are there any effective and/or ingenious strategies in use or in potentia? Tell us, dear readers, if you know of any.