by Heather Hofmeister, Michaela Jüttemann.
We examine the selection process of professorship placements using a case study of one large German university, the RWTH Aachen University, compared to German averages, within four disciplines and two payscale levels to unpack phenomena that may play a role in the low representation of women at RWTH Aachen and, by extension, at other universities. We use professorship appointments between 2005 and 2008, N=93 for RWTH, N=3722 for Germany. We compare the proportion of female applicants, proportion of women who were in the final candidate selection, the proportion who were offered jobs, and proportion of women who took professorships. We find differences by discipline and pay level. In ‘Social Science, Business, and Humanities’ and in ‘Mathematics and Natural Sciences’ women hold an above-average proportion of new professorships at RWTH Aachen compared to national averages. However this has different reasons: In ‘Social Science, Business, and Humanities’ there is evidence of a compensation strategy, whereby an above-average proportion of female candidates are hired for the lower level of professorships and a below-average proportion are hired at higher levels. In ‘Mathematics and Natural Sciences’ however, the higher proportion of women among the newly hired professors is based on a clearly above-average hiring at the W2 level, with values at W3 level meeting but not exceeding the German ones. Engineering professorships at RWTH have a higher proportion of female applicants than the German average for equivalent positions. Nonetheless, the share of female newly appointed professors is about the German average. In Medicine at the W3 level, women apply at, and are hired at, proportions below the German average.
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