Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


Despite an increase in the number of PhDs earned by women and faculty of color in recent decades, they are less numerous among faculty at US colleges and universities. This scarcity is most pronounced at the level of full professor. Why are women and faculty of color not reaching the upper levels of academia? Previous research in the cultural taxation literature suggests that women and faculty of color experience heavier service burdens than their white male colleagues. In order to examine whether a heavier service burden could be at the root of the “leaky pipeline” from PhD to full professor among women and faculty of color, we recruited faculty in five departments at a large research university to record their daily tasks in time-use journals during two different weeks in a 10-week quarter. Our analysis of these journals provided mixed results with regard to gender, but pointed to important differences with regard to other axes of inequality. Specifically, we found that faculty of color, queer faculty, and faculty from working class backgrounds together spent a disproportionate amount of their time on the “invisible” work of academia, leaving them less time for the work that matters for tenure and promotion.

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