Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty Levels

Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty Levels

Female tenure/tenure-track faculty are not represented at the highest levels of tenure when compared to their male counterparts. As of the 2017-18 academic year, only 33.9% of female tenure/tenure-track faculty were classified as Full Professors, compared with 51.4% of male tenure/tenure-track faculty.

Source: Roy, J. (2019). Engineering by the numbers. American Society for Engineering Education.


Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty LevelsOn average, only 17.4% of tenure/tenure-track faculty in U.S. colleges of engineering in the U.S. are women. Life science-related disciplines have the largest percentages of female tenure/tenure-track faculty, with about 1 in 4 tenure/tenure-track faculty being female. Aerospace engineering has the lowest inclusion of female faculty, where less than 12% of tenure/tenure-track faculty are female.

Source: Roy, J. (2019) Engineering by the numbers. American Society for Engineering Education.


Among doctoral scientists and engineers employed in universities and four-year colleges, women are underrepresented at various academic positions and levels. In 2017, women represented about 35% of deans, department heads, and chairs at these institutions. Similarly, they represented about 36% of the research faculty and teaching faculty. They had a slightly higher representation in the academic positions of adjunct faculty (41.2 %) and postdoctoral researchers (40.5%).

Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty Levels
Source: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 2019. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2019. Special Report NSF 19-304. Alexandria, VA. Available at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd.


Faculty women of Color: Among all science, engineering, and health doctoral degree holders employed in universities and four-year colleges, women represent less than half of the faculty across all ranks. In engineering, women represent about 15% of the total faculty and less than 10% of full professors. Among engineering faculty, women of color represent less than 3% of full professors, about 6% of associate professors, and less than 9% of assistant professors.

% Women Faculty in Engineering, by race/ethnicity and rank, 2015

Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty Levels
Source: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Doctorate Recipients, 2015.


SWE Efforts to Increase Female Representation among Engineering and Computer Science Faculty


Additional Resources

  • Roy, J. (2019). Engineering by the numbers .American Society for Engineering Education.
  • National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 2019. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2019. Special Report NSF 19-304. Alexandria, VA. Available at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd.
  • National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Survey of Doctorate Recipients, 2015.