Environment barriers and their effects on the perception of women on the tenure track

Stephanie J. Jones, Erika M. Warnick, Elyn M. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Fewer women attain tenure and reach the rank of professor than their male counterparts. The extant literature is rich in descriptions of barriers that women encounter while on the tenure track. This study was designed to focus on the environment of one large, public, high research university to determine the types of environmental barriers that exist that affect women. Of interest to the researchers was whether the barriers identified can be attributed to the culture and climate of academe in general or are institution centric. To examine these barriers, this study was guided by one research question, framed by the perceptions and experiences of women on the tenure track at the study institution, which focused on the identification of environmental barriers that women encountered. This mixed method study identified environment barriers that were categorized into the four areas of work environment, assistance, policy, and genderedness and socialization. The results of the study support the national research discussions that the tenure process is flawed and ambiguous, and further emphasize that though the barriers are known to exist, universities continue to be slow to address them. The findings of the study need to be analyzed with caution due to it being conducted at one university, but the response rate of the participants supports that women seeking tenure at this institution want to discuss their perceptions and experiences of the process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
JournalNASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


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