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Business School Faculty: Focusing on Gender Reported for Full-Time Faculty

March 2015

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB International

With both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month in March, it is a great time to take a look at some of the gender data AACSB International collects. Whether focusing on faculty, enrollments, degrees conferred, or administrative positions, AACSB collects and reports data each year that helps track changes in the gender compositions at member schools. While gender for full-time faculty members is just one of the many pieces of data AACSB collects as part of its annual Salary Survey, this robust data set gives the opportunity to look at the current representation of women currently working within business schools.

Data Snapshot by Faculty Rank

The most recent data released is from the 2014–15 Salary Survey and is based on 579 AACSB member schools that chose to provide data for approximately 35,000 full-time faculty members on an incumbent-level basis. Based on this data, 31.2 percent of all full-time faculty were reported as female, with the corresponding 68.8 percent reported as male. When looking by faculty rank, the highest percentage of faculty (39.7 percent) was at the instructor rank. As the faculty ranks increased, the relative percentage of female faculty decreased. Among professors, this snapshot showed that 20.1 percent of full-time faculty were reported as female.

2014–15 Salary Survey Snapshot—Percentage of Full-Time Faculty by Gender and Faculty Rank


Source: AACSB DataDirect, Salary Survey, 579 schools

Data Snapshot by Faculty Discipline

Faculty rank is not the only place where the percentage reported by gender varies. When looking based on the primary field or discipline reported for the faculty members, there are clearly some disciplines with a stronger female presence than others. For example, business communication (63.2 percent female) is the only discipline in which women made up more than 50 percent of the total faculty within a discipline. The next highest was HR management, with 44.4 percent. The disciplines with the lowest reported percentages of female faculty were real estate (16.8 percent), logistics (18.1 percent), and operations research (19.1 percent).

2014–15 Salary Survey Snapshot—Percentage of Full-Time Faculty by Gender and Field/Discipline


Source: AACSB DataDirect, Salary Survey, 579 schools

Five-Year Trend—Is the Faculty Composition by Gender Changing?

The tables above focus on the immediate data in a snapshot of 2014–15, but how would those percentages stack up in a controlled set of data looking across the last five years? To add additional context for the single-year snapshot of data, each of the faculty ranks is also included below with the percentage of full-time faculty reported by gender over the last five years. This data set is limited to only the 435 AACSB member schools that provided this data in all of the listed years to eliminate any influences on the data based on changes in annual survey participation status.

The overall faculty percentages for all ranks combined indicates that there has been a move toward a higher proportion of female faculty from 29.0 percent in 2010–11 to 31.0 percent for this set of schools. Over that time period, the percentage of professors reported as female increased from 17.4 percent in 2010–11 to 20.0 percent in 2014–15. This increase is also visible in the data for the associate professors, with a change from 28.9 percent to 32.1 percent. At the assistant professor and instructor levels, there were slight decreases, but these were not large enough to change the overall trend toward higher percentages of female faculty.

Five-Year Trend—Percentage of Full-Time Faculty by Gender per Faculty Rank (controlled data set, 435 schools)


Source: AACSB DataDirect, Salary Survey, controlled set of 435 schools reporting data in all listed years


Source: AACSB DataDirect, Salary Survey, controlled set of 435 schools reporting data in all listed years


Source: AACSB DataDirect, Salary Survey, controlled set of 435 schools reporting data in all listed years


Source: AACSB DataDirect, Salary Survey, controlled set of 435 schools reporting data in all listed years


Source: AACSB DataDirect, Salary Survey, controlled set of 435 schools reporting data in all listed years