- Men continue to participate more in class than women—and the disparity between male and female participation rates have barely improved over the past ten years.
- Faculty and students observe that women seem more risk-adverse in their participation and are more likely to undermine or discount their own comments in class.
Beyond the Classroom
- Men are more active in engaging faculty outside of class and are more comfortable doing so.
- Men are more likely to write with faculty, and earlier—and they learn about faculty opportunities through more informal channels than women.
- Faculty observed greater hesitance among women in asking professors to advocate for them.
We added a third “unclear” gender category to recognize genderqueer and gender non-conforming students who do not either identify or express themselves as men or women. To be sure, this was necessarily
an imperfect approach, as it wholly refl ected the perspective of the classroom monitor (and whether it was “unclear” to them how a student gender-identified). (19)
For 2011-2012, 22 out of 104 Yale Law School professors were women (21.2%). When visiting, clinical, adjunct, and emeritus professors are excluded, there are 17 women professors out of 75. Of the 17 Visiting Professors, 4 were women (23.5%). Only one of 12 clinical professors is a woman (8.3%). (2)
Without formal grades, large classes, or institutionalized benchmarks, faculty-student relationships play a crucial role in a student’s education and future opportunities. Furthermore, many students come to YLS with an interest in legal academia and/or judicial clerkships. Success in these areas requires faculty advocacy on the student’s behalf. (34)
Among professors interviewed, women faculty wrote signifi cantly more letters of recommendation. The 14 women interviewed reported writing 99 letters, an average of 7.1 letters per person, while the 40 men interviewed reported writing 158 letters, an average of 4.0 letters per person. (13)
- Raise this study with your colleagues, friends and Profs. Encourage them to read it, or provide them with the recommendations.
- Replicate the Yale study?
Incidentally, a York colleague who went to Osgoode a number of years ago, Anne Bunting, mentioned to me that a study like this was done at Osgoode many years ago. Anyone have a copy? Let me know.