Sexism in Higher Education

Only in recent years have women been able to take advantage of opportunities to receive higher education, that is, to earn a college or university degree. Although some exceptions exist, women were generally barred from universities and colleges, especially professional and graduate programs, until the 1960s. In fact, the more prestigious the program, the more gender discrimination women encountered. The women's movement was largely responsible for pressuring the government to pass laws making sex discrimination illegal in educational settings. Title IX requires schools to eliminate gender discrimination in admissions and financial aid policies, gender‐segregated classes and sports programs, and administrative, faculty, and staff hiring practices.

Today, women are more likely than men to attend college and earn a first or second degree, usually in a liberal arts area that does not lead to a high‐paying job. But women are less likely than men to receive advanced degrees.

Sexism occurs in the administration and on the faculties of institutions of higher learning. Research has consistently demonstrated that, compared with men, women are less likely to be hired, be promoted, or receive tenure. Women also make less money than men, even though women academicians teach as well as men, conduct research, and generate grants.