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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 1999

M.I.T. Report Exposes Sex Discrimination

Gender discrimination in the School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is substantive and pervasive acknowledges a report released by MIT in March. Five years in the making and initiated by several female faculty members in the school, the report documents a pattern of discrimination in hiring, awards, promotions, committee work, laboratory space and research money. The report also notes the percentage of female faculty in the school has remained virtually unchanged for years, and there has never been a female department head or associate head.

Such patterns of discrimination, American experts say, continue and in some ways have worsened at institutions across the country, despite the growing number of professors who are women. In a report issued in February, the American Association of University Professors found that over the last 20 years the gap between salaries for male and female professors has widened although female professors now constitute one-third of the faculty nationwide.

MIT officials say a move to increase the number of tenured women faculty is under way along with other efforts to redress inequities in the allocation of resources. Initiatives to promote university-wide equity data research are also being discussed.

A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT can be viewed at