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Universitywide, slightly more than a quarter of Harvard faculty members are women, an all-time high, with the senior faculty accounting for most of the increase. Women also lead the engineering school, the law school, the education school, Harvard College and the Radcliffe Institute. And while Harvard extended 4 of its 32 tenure offers to women in the year before Dr. Summers’s speech, last year, tenure offers went to 16 women and 25 men.
Given the overlap between the biological clock and the tenure clock, helping more women into senior academic positions is especially difficult at Harvard, where tenure is unusually slow, coming only with promotion to full professor. Also, Harvard has long been known for recruiting outsiders to senior positions, rather than promoting junior faculty members.