Informal recruiting of men versus women

Tatyana Deryugina
2 min readOct 7, 2023

I routinely hear talk about female economists being in much more demand than male economists. I decided to gather some data to test whether this was the case. On October 4, I distributed a Qualtrics survey through Twitter and Bluesky, asking how many “personal (non-mass) emails have you received [in the past year] inquiring about your interest in a specific faculty position and/or inviting you to apply”? I got almost 360 responses, of which 342 people identified as being tenure-track assistant, associate, or full professors (or equivalent).

There are a lot of caveats here, of course (there could be systematic differences in research quality, age, or other characteristics, and the people who took this poll could be different from the general population), but them’s the data! The rates among full men v. women are also not statistically different from each other (N=81)

Again, we don’t necessarily have enough information for a clear interpretation (e.g., is this truly more demand for women or just committees reaching out so they can say they tried?), but the data do point to women being recruited more, at least in the initial stages of a search.

Some data notes: The survey was framed as being about “informality in recruiting” to minimize the possibility of selection. Seven people identified as non-binary, and I included them with the “female” category. Grouping non-binary individuals with males yields very similar results. The options for number of emails was “None”, “1–2”, “3–4”, “5–9” and “10 or more”. These were re-coded as 0, 1.5, 3.5, 7.5, and 12.5, respectively. Among the respondents, there were 97 male assistant professors, 78 female/non-binary assistant professors, 52 male associate professors, 34 female assistant professors, 54 male full professors, and 27 female full professors.

Originally published at https://deryugina.com on October 7, 2023.

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