CSWEP: Survey & Annual Report

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Women’s representation in economics has increased since CSWEP first surveyed economics departments regarding the gender composition of faculty in 1972. CSWEP’s annual report surveys some 250 departments annually with findings reported in the AER: May Papers & Proceedings and reprinted in the CSWEP Annual Report.

Figure 1. The Pipeline for Departments with Doctoral Programs: Percent of Doctoral Students and Faculty who are Women

Watch Dr. Maggie Levenstein, CSWEP Associate Chair and Survey Director, present the 2020 annual survey results here. Read the full report in the CSWEP news here.

The 2020 annual report data indicate that three truths continue to hold for women in the academy:

  • From entering PhD student to full professor, women have been and remain a minority;
  • Within the tenure track, from new PhD ­to full professor, the higher the rank, the lower the representation of women
  • Compared with men, women disproportionately fall off the academic ladder at the time of promotion to tenured associate

Two recent trends also strike a disturbing chord and taken together demand deeper inquiry:

  • The share of women entering PhD programs has not increased
  • The fraction of undergraduate majors in economics who are women has been flat, while the female share of the undergraduate population overall has increased substantially

Department-level reports are provided to individual department chairs at the completion of the survey. The full panel data from 1994 on is available at https://www.icpsr.umich.edu/web/ICPSR/studies/37118/.

In January 2013, Margaret Levenstein (University of Michigan) became CSWEP’s inaugural Associate Chair and Director of the Survey, charged with improving content, utility and administration.  Preservation of the department-level survey data has begun with the ultimate goal of providing researchers with an ongoing CSWEP Panel on the Gender Composition of Students and Faculty stretching back to 1972.

Page last revised 3/4/21