Bridging the Gender Gap

Tufts Observer
By Iyra Chandra and Katherine Wang
April 22, 2019

Tufts University, like most institutions of higher education, prides itself on equity and diversity. However, in a study published by the Eos Foundation in September of last year, Tufts ranked 87th out of 93 in a report on gender parity.

The Eos Foundation, established by Andrea Silbert in 2007, was created with a mission to develop and sustain equality in various institutions, including higher education. They launched the Women’s Power Gap Initiative in order to bring attention to the extensive gender inequality that exists among colleges. The Women’s Power Gap Initiative then published a report ranking all Massachusetts colleges and universities in terms of number of women compared to men in leadership positions. It defines the women’s power gap as “the difference between the percentage of men and women in leadership positions [such as deans, administrators, provosts, board of trustees, etc].”

The study examined the disparity between the number of women and men filling leadership positions within the 2017-2018 school year from 93 institutions of higher education in Massachusetts, including Tufts. While the study does not account for race due to lack of available data, it notes that women of color make up a significantly smaller number of leadership positions compared to their White counterparts. The report states “progress for women of color is minimal… Data on women of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds is extremely difficult to gather. Women of color lead only five of the institutions in our study.”

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