Methods for Measuring Vertical Gender Segregation at Colleges and Universities: The Value of Treating Departments as Neighborhoods

Stephanie A. Bohon , University of Tennessee
Nicholas Nagle, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Colleges and universities are workplaces where men occupy more prestigious and better paying positions than women. This vertical gender segregation reduces women’s access to resources and connections which, in turn, impacts their ability to earn tenure and promotion. In working toward the creation of a more equitable work environment, institutions must be able to evaluate vertical segregation simply and thoroughly, and we propose that viewing departments as neighborhoods will allow administrators and researchers to apply techniques for measuring residential segregation to evaluate vertical gender segregation. In this paper, we demonstrate how four dimensions of residential segregation—evenness, exposure, concentration, and proportionality—can be calculated for evaluating vertical gender diversity in higher education and argue that administrators armed with these kinds of information can better evaluate how their institution and individual departments are fairing over time, in comparison to peer and aspirational peer institutions, and in relationship to the larger academic labor market.

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 Presented in Session 80. Flash Session: Innovation in Demographic Methods