Chart of the Month: Project on Women and Minorities



The March Chart of the Month features data from the Project on Women and Minorities (P-WAM). The chart highlights gender composition within tenure-status at the 21 largest PhD-granting institutions in political science. Notably, while tenured professors make up half of all faculty at the 21 institutions (50.1%), only 27.0% are female. This is lower than the proportion of women in tenure-track positions, where female faculty are the most represented (39.6%). For more data on women in the profession, please visit the P-WAM Dashboard.

In addition to collecting data on diversity in the profession, the American Political Science Association (APSA) offers a number of resources to advance diversity and inclusion in political science.

APSA Programs:

  • APSA’s Centennial Center Research Grants Program offers support for research projects analyzing gender and racial inequality in the profession, and for larger, collaborative projects aimed at advancing diversity and inclusion in the profession. Learn more and apply here:
  • APSA’s Diversity and Inclusion Programs offers a number of resources for advancing diversity & inclusion in the profession, including bystander intervention training, the APSA RESPECT Campaign, and the annual diversity and inclusion report:
  • The APSA Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession monitors the status of women in the profession at all levels, including faculty members and graduate students. It reports to the membership on its findings, works to advance research on women, and on issues of particular concern to women, and works closely with groups like the women’s caucus for political science to ensure fair and equal treatment of women throughout the profession. Visit their website to find data on women in the profession, their professional advice column, to learn more about their projects on parental leave policies, and more :
  • APSA Is home to a number of status committees, many of which take an intersectional approach to their mission and engage in significant work to advance the status of women in the profession. These include committees organized around racial and ethnic identity, sexual identity, and first-generation status, as well as committees organized around professional affiliations including contingent faculty and graduate students. You can find the full list of APSA status committees and links to their websites here:
  • The APSA Mentoring Program was created in 2003 and connects undergraduate, graduate students, and junior faculty from all backgrounds to experienced and senior members of the profession for professional development support on academic and career topics. Learn more and volunteer to be a mentor or request to be matched with a mentor here:
  • APSA’s Project on Women and Minorities Dashboard presents the results of a new collaboration between APSA’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession and the Project on Women and Minorities.  The dashboard offers data visualizations on the representation of women and minorities from the political science departments of the 21 largest PhD-granting institutions in the United States:
  • In 2017, APSA President Kathleen Thelen appointed a Task Force on Women’s Advancement in the Profession to understand career path differences between women and men in the profession of Political Science and the factors shaping women’s advancement. These efforts built on the work of former APSA president Dianne Pinderhughes, and her Task Force on Political Science in the 21st Century. You can read more about Dr. Pinderhughes’ legacy of leadership here and read her task force’s report here. The 2017 Task Force also built on work conducted by APSA President Jennifer Mansbridge and the ad hoc committee on advancing women in the profession.
  • The Task Force on Women’s Advancement in the Profession held a Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon at the 2018 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Boston, chaired by Mala Htun and Alvin B. Tillery, Jr.  At the hackathon, teams developed strategies to address key challenges facing the profession, build partnerships, and plans to move forward.
  • You can view Hackathon team products, including data visualizations, guidelines to teaching intersectionality in political science, recruitment and retention strategies, and strategies for how men can advance women’s equality in political science here:
  • APSA’s Women’s Research Mentoring Workshops enable political science scholars who self-identify as women, non-binary or genderqueer to network with peer scholars and mentors in their field and to receive focused expert feedback on their research. The next workshop is planned for 2020. Watch this space for more information about applications:

Related and Independent Groups:

  • People of Color Also Know Stuff aims to promote scholars of color in Political Science and serve as an amplifier for efforts to advance racial diversity and inclusion in the discipline. A key aspect of their mission is to advance equity that is inclusive of all class backgrounds, gender identities, sexual identities, and institutional contexts. Their goal is to foster cross-institutional collaboration and networking across subfields and rankings, especially for graduate students and early-career scholars. They do this through promoting scholarship, celebrating professional wins, and serving as a resource for mentoring efforts in the discipline to resolve issues that arise from the underrepresentation of people of color in Political Science. POC Also Know Stuff serve as an interlocutor for those seeking to contact POC Experts, to learn about issues facing people of color in the discipline, and to advocate as allies for people of color in the discipline.
  • Women Also Know Stuff aims to promote and publicize the work and expertise of scholars in political science who identify as women. Their searchable database helps academics and journalists identify and connect with women academics conducting research on a multitude of issues related to the study of politics. You can use their database of over 1,800 scholars when writing syllabi; when planning conferences, panels, and speaker series; when citing research; when inviting essays and op-eds; and when identifying experts for articles.
  • In 2018, The Women’s Caucus for Political Science received a $25,000 APSA Special Projects Fund Grant for their project – #MeTooPoli Sci. They launched the program with an APSA Annual Meeting short course aimed at creating an empowering space where women+ could discuss gender discrimination in the discipline and begin developing recommendations to combat gender discrimination. The group continued their work with a writing retreat at APSA’s Centennial Center in winter 2019 and has plans to develop specific policy recommendations for professional organizations, strategies for developing networks of allies to improve the disciplinary culture, and tools for localized action. You can follow the results of this work, and all of the Women’s Caucus for Political Science’s efforts here:
  • APSA works with a number of related groups, many of which take an intersectional approach to their mission and engage in vital work to advance the status of women in the profession. These include the Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Political Science Caucus, and the Latino Caucus in Political Science/Sector Latino De Ciencia Politica. You can find the full list of APSA status committees and learn more about their work here: