Call for Abstracts for an Edited Volume

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Working Title: Breaking the Silence: Institutional Responsibility in Women’s Promotion to Full Professor



Chardie L. Baird, Professor, Sociology, Executive Director, Kansas State University Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering (KAWSE); Spainhour Family Chair, Kansas State University

Mangala Subramaniam, Professor, Sociology, Chair & Director, Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, Purdue University



We are seeking abstracts for an edited volume focused on women’s promotion to full professors. The edited collection is guided by the following questions: What are the experiences of women during their promotion to full professor? How do university structures, practices, policies, and norms affect women’s moving up the ranks from associate professor to full professor by both presuming and reproducing gendered and racialized inequity? How do associate professors navigate the institutional terrain in seeking promotion to full professorship (successfully or not)? Ideally, the volume will represent a diverse group of women, including but not limited to interdisciplinary contributions from international scholars and/or scholars who are women of color. We expect to capture a range of experiences recognizing the variations in structure of higher education, promotion criteria, and types of institutions across countries of focus in this edited collection.


We focus on promotion to full professor because the gender gap in the rank of full professor, the top of the academic hierarchy, persists globally, despite the reduction of the gender gap in other locations on the academic career ladder. In India, women are concentrated at the lower end of the hierarchy in the rank of assistant professor at 43.9%. About 37% are reader/associate professors and 28% are full professors (Government of India 2019). Similar trends exist in Australia (Australian Government 2018), Japan (Government of Japan 2019), Canada (Statistics Canada 2019), countries in the European Commission (European Commission 2019), and the United States (AAUP 2019).


Dominant accounts for gendered and racialized academic career advancement rarely implicate universities’ responsibility for the ways 1) gendered and racialized norms are embedded in institutions and play out as bias or 2) the structures, practices, and policies of academia systematically devalue the work of women and restrict their opportunities (Britton 2017; Stewart and Valian 2018). For example, focusing on gender disparities in caregiving and/or community work is open to the interpretation that academia has no role in addressing these disparities because it is outside the “purview of academia” (Stewart and Valian 2018: 137). Overall, recognition is gendered and therefore women are less likely to be rewarded (Subramaniam unpublished).


Our edited volume seeks to highlight and explain the ways that universities contribute to hindering women’s advancement to full professor using an intersectional lens. To do so, we will consider a broad range of contribution types, such as reflexive essays, case studies, empirical studies, theoretical or conceptual work if the focus is on university structures, practices, policies, and norms and their effect on promotion to full professor.

Please send your 1) proposed chapter title, 2) abstract (no more than 500 words), and 3) biography of each author (no more than 100 words) to Chardie L. Baird ( and Mangala Subramaniam ( by August 1, 2021 (target date). Please use the subject header “Chapter proposal re: women and full professor.” We expect to make decisions on abstracts by November 1, 2021.  If we receive confirmation of moving forward on the proposed book, chapters of 8,000 words will be due by March 15, 2022.





American Association of University Professors. 2019. The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2018-2019. (accessed March 10, 2020).

Australian Government, Department of Education and Training. 2018. “Table 2.6: Number of Full-Time and Fractional Full-Time Staff by State, Higher Education Institution, Current Duties and Gender, 2018,” Selected Higher Education Statistics—Staff 2018 Numbers (2018).

Britton, Dana. 2017. “Beyond the Chilly Climate: The Salience of Gender in Women’s Academic Careers.” Gender and Society 31(1): 5-27.

European Commission. 2019. She Figures 2018 (2019): p. 118.

Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development. 2019. “Table 22: State & Post-Wise Number of Male & Female Teacher,” All India Survey on Higher Education (2018-19): p. T-22.

Government of Japan, Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office. 2019. “Education and Research Fields,” Women and Men in Japan 2019.

Statistics Canada. 2019. “Number and Salaries of Full-Time Teaching Staff at Canadian Universities (Final), 2018/2019,” The Daily.

Stewart, Abigail J. and Virginia Valian. 2018. An Inclusive Academy: Achieving Diversity and Excellence. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Subramaniam, Mangala. Unpublished. Hidden Hurdles and Gendered Recognition: Perceptions of Associates Professors. Paper presented at American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, 2020.