Knowing how ably Rachel dissected the work of that horribly biased panel that put together that shoddy piece of work, I nevertheless shouldered the burden of taking on a point by point rebuttal of her main claims. You can find this rebuttal over at Dr. Free-Ride’s, just below Ken C.’s whining. Here’s a taste (quoting myself):
Well, Rachel is a freshman, and so perhaps she has not yet had a lot of experience with complicated graphics. Her analysis of Figure 3.6 on page 105 of the report is mistaken. Nowhere on the figure is there a three-year differential between men and women in age at assistant professor in any category. Data are for all faculty, married, single or parents. I could find nothing in the discussion of Figure 3.6 that attributes the difference in age at assistant professor to childbirth. In all STEM fields, average age at assistant professor is 34 for women, 32 for men. This might more likely reflect a longer time in the postdoc pool for women – but whatever, let’s ignore the age difference. How long till from assistant to associate? Average time is 5.5 years for women compared to 4.7 years for men. Then, time to full professor: 5.6 years for women, 5 years for men. Time to full professor step 6: 8.9 years for women, 8 years for men. From the time they become assistant professors, it takes women on average 2.3 extra years to traverse the entire tenure pathway. This has nothing to do with them starting the tenure pathway two years older on average than men. Rachel has taken 2.3 years, subtracted “1-3 years”, and gotten “.1 years”. I hope she did okay on her engineering math tests. Rachel also does not mention that Figure 3.6 is comprised of data from one institution, UC Berkeley, though the report notes that similar patterns were shown at other universities including Duke and MIT.