Turning Chutes into Ladders for Women Faculty: A Review and Roadmap for Equity in Academia

Michelle I. Cardel, Emily Dhurandhar, Ceren Yarar-Fisher, Monica Foster, Bertha Hidalgo, Leslie A. McClure, Sherry Pagoto, Nathanial Brown, Dori Pekmezi, Noha Sharafeldin, Amanda L. Willig, Christine Angelini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Despite significant progress in recent decades, the recruitment, advancement, and promotion of women in academia remain low. Women represent a large portion of the talent pool in academia, and receive >50% of all PhDs, but this has not yet translated into sustained representation in faculty and leadership positions. Research indicates that women encounter numerous "chutes"that remove them from academia or provide setbacks to promotion at all stages of their careers. These include the perception that women are less competent and their outputs of lesser quality, implicit bias in teaching evaluations and grant funding decisions, and lower citation rates. This review aims to (1) synthesize the "chutes"that impede the careers of women faculty, and (2) provide feasible recommendations, or "ladders"for addressing these issues at all career levels. Enacting policies that function as "ladders"rather than "chutes"for academic women is essential to even the playing field, achieve gender equity, and foster economic, societal, and cultural benefits of academia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-733
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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