Adjunct Faculty and Gender

Every single one of us working in universities should be up in arms at the two-tier system currently operating in academia, whereby faculty is divided into those lucky enough to land a permanent position, and those who inhabit a shadowy underworld of precarious, part-time, poorly paid, temporary jobs. Unsurprisingly, there is a gendered dimension to this situation. To get anywhere in the academic world, one needs to work long, long hours. This is largely incompatible with responsibilities of care. Since women tend to take on more care responsibilities (for various reasons), they often end up in the academic underworld.

Academic life is predominantly a man’s world. Women remain on the periphery, and children are all but absent. American universities consistently publish glowing reports stating their commitment to diversity, often showing statistics of female hires as proof of success, but the facts remain: university women make up disproportionately large numbers of temporary (adjunct and non-tenure track) faculty, while the majority of permanent, tenure-track positions are granted to men… The disproportion between male and female university faculty, as in other work forces, is most striking among those who choose to be both professors and parents.

Things really need to change. You can read more here. Thanks to JP.