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I am very grateful to Carolyn for her work. It would also be nice to see stats on the number of hires from Leiter top 15 versus everyone else.

Justin Caouette

Thoughts regarding the % of women: This number is much higher than I had anticipated given the disciplines track record. Now, the raw number is low but I am curious about something--success rate. It seems that women might have a MUCH higher success rate than men. The % of women kept out of the profession after securing their PhD would seemingly be much lower giving them a much higher success rate. Am I being completely misled here to think that if you get a PhD and you're a woman you would have a better chance than a man at securing a TT or post-doc? Although 65.7% of jobs went to men what were the %'s of applicants men to women? Assuming many more men applied (many more than 65%) it seems that women might have a better chance... It's quite possible I am missing something though.

In one important regard I think this is good. More women in the classroom in the role of prof. makes it easier for female students to feel they too can have a career in the field.

Regarding your point that the 49.7% of TT positions is "a lot": why think this is so? I would guess that 49.7% is the lowest it has ever been. If we had the stats from 04-08 and 00-04 and so on, my guess would be that the number you are taking to be "a lot" has steadily declined.

Here is a thought - Pedigree plays a huge role. The back-log you speak of isn't filled with candidates from top-15 ranked programs, though there are some. The grads from the Leiterific programs are always going to get the interviews. If this is true then the back log could double and the TT hire % of those fresh out of school could bottom out a bit less than it is now but probably not much more. I am not claiming that pedigree should play such a driving force in hiring (go figure, I am not in a ranked program), I am merely suggesting a reason for why the number is what it is.

Scott Clifton

I can't recall for sure, but I think the median number of pubs last year for TT hires was around 1. This year it's 2. I hope the number doesn't continue to rise like this or in three more years people will have to have tenure-like packages already in hand just to get a TT job.

Jenny S

Responding to Justin's thoughts regarding the % of women: Marcus points to data to suggest that women make up 30% of job candidates and also very close to 30% of jobs (slightly more for TT, negligibly lower for postdocs). It might be a sliver of hope if the gender balance in the job applicant pool were approximately the same as the gender balance in the succesfully-hired pool - hope that the hiring committees are doing a fair job, and are taking better account of gender in their hiring decisions. But one worry remains that women self-select out at a variety of stages - including applicant stage. So Justin's inference that women who complete the PhD might have a higher success rate on the job market doesn't hold unless we also have data that approximately 30% of completed PhDs are women. Anecdotal evidence suggests to me that women are less likely to complete the PhD in the first place compared to their male peers, and that even if they successfully complete, they are more likely to step away from academia immediately after completing the PhD without ever entering the job market, and are also more likely to - and quicker to - give up on the academic job market by seeking employment elsewhere, pursuing law school, etc.

Derek C.

Hey Marcus,

In your second "thought" above, you mention that it seems like top-15 journal publications are not all that important. On one reading of this claim -- that it's not that important to publish in top-15 journals, since a number of people got jobs with no publications in such venues -- seems right. On the other hand, I imagine that the claim -- 'it's not that important to publish in top-15 journals because publishing in those journals will not increase your chances of getting a job" -- is at the least not supported by the data. In fact, it might support the claim that it is important because it will increase your likelihood of attaining a job (which seem intuitively correct to me, at least) -- though, perhaps the data only supports the claim that those who received TT jobs had, on average and as a group, more top-15 pubs then those who received Post-docs, which seems to suggest that TT (and Post-docs?) had more top 15 journal publications then those who did not get any job offer, which in turn seems to suggest that having top 15 journal pubs increases the liklihood of receiving a job offer.

I'm probably stating the obvious here -- and I don't mean to imply that you actually meant the latter claim -- but thought it was something worth commenting about.


Off the top of my head, I think you may be right to say that women may have a better chance of securing a TT offer, but I can't help but thinking that some kind of Base-rate fallacy is going on here -- i.e. the total number of women philosophers is so low, and hence the initial liklihood of you becomining a woman philosopher so low, that women still have a vastly lower chance than men of securing a TT offer. My brain is fuzzy right now and I'm not working on what I should be so I may be way off here, but what do you think?

Marcus Arvan

Hi Derek: you're right. The claim "top-15 articles aren't important" is ambiguous. On one reading, it's true: most people who got jobs this year didn't have a single top-15 journal article. In that sense, it's not important to have one. On the other hand, it's still presumably true that *having* a top-15 journal article (not to mention multiple ones) would presumably help a person's candidacy immensely, and so is important in that sense.

I, of course, didn't mean to deny the second sense of importance. What I meant to imply is merely that, perhaps surprisingly, top-15 journal publications appear in no way to be a "prerequisite" for getting a job (either post-doc or TT), since, again, over 50% of successful candidates for both types of jobs got those jobs without any.

Hope this clears things up!

Justin Caouette

@ Jenny: Good points. I wonder what the PhD completion rate comparison between men and women would be. I know lots of men who do not finish as well(though, like you this is merely anecdotal). Now, even if it is true that more women (by %) do not complete the Phd, the inference I made re: the success rate would still hold for those women who did decide to stick it out. I was referring to the success rate of those who graduate not on those who start and do not complete since those stats would be much harder to come by (for both men and women).

Also, I think you're right re: my inference that women who complete the PhD might have a higher success rate on the job market doesn't hold unless we also have data that approximately 30% (or less) of completed PhD's are women. This data should be available somewhere... I'm interested to see what the numbers are.

@Derek - I don't think the total #'s of women philosophers being so low provides any support to the claim that they have a vastly lower chance than men of securing a TT offer. It's because there are so few that I think they have a better chance of securing a TT position so that the discipline can be better represented by both sexes (assuming those in the discipline care to have a better representation). The data might suggest that the discipline does care if the data re: the inference that Jenny and I are discussing stated that 30% (or less) of the PhD's granted were granted to women (which at least seems plausible given how few women I see in graduate departments compared to men).

FWIW, I looked briefly on the UChicago placement record and in 2012 & 2013 there numbers were 9 male grads vs. 2 female grads. At my University since 2011 the numbers are 8 male grads and 1 female grad. Now, this is an extremely low sample but I chose Chicago randomly and since I'm here I used my University. If everyone could post their numbers since 2011 we might be able to get a better idea. But if these 2 Universities are any indication a 6+men/1woman ratio seems to put women well below the 30% of Phd's granted. I don't think it will stay that low but my guess is that it would be below the 30% needed to secure the inference I made earlier. If others could put their schools we could get a better idea. This would at minimum point to some progress in the discipline regarding women. Given the latest Mcginn saga this would be a nice stat to convey to prospective female grad school applicants.

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