I was just promoted this summer, Jun 2015, to full professor at CU Boulder Engineering in the Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department, College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS). It was a significant accomplishment for me. I worked hard for this position and pursued it both for personal and professional reasons, as well as for future generations of women who will come after me. And I hope there will be more, and that they will experience more equity, support and tolerance.
I am sure these statistics are not unique. Other engineering schools probably report similarly sad statistics when it comes to numbers of female full professors. Here is what the gender break-down looked like at CU Boulder for 2014 (latest year data is available):
Total Tenure-Tenure Track Faculty in CEAS: 179
- Total Full Professors in CEAS: 83
- 71 males (86%) and 12 females (14%)
- Total Associate Professors in CEAS: 50
- 39 males (78%) and 11 females (22%)
- Total Assistant Professors in CEAS: 46
- 37 males (80%) and 9 females (20%)
Total Tenure-Track Faculty in ME: 29
- Total Full Professors in ME: 10
- 9 males (90%) and 1 female (10%)
- Total Associate Professors in ME: 12
- 8 males (67%) and 4 females (33%)
- Total Assistant Professors in ME: 7
- 7 males (100%) and 0 females (0%)
We also have Teaching Faculty in ME, 9 of which are male (82%) and 2 female (8%). More specifically two female instructors teach along with 5 male instructors at the CU Boulder campus (30% female); the four other male instructors teach at our Colorado Mesa University location (0% female).
CU Boulder engineering students this year are overall 25% female undergrad. However it is 16% overall female undergrad in Mechanical Engineering. And this number has been holding steady in ME: 2012-2014 = 15% female, 2015 =16% female. Note that the freshman class in engineering this year is 30% female, the highest it’s ever been!
In 2015, I became the 2nd female full professor in ME. During the 2014-2015 year we hired 4 new faculty, and none were women. What will it take to recognize that a diverse faculty is vital, and to have the faculty fight for diversity in an engineering college?