Female and Male Psychologists in Academic Administration: Resource Control and Perceived Influence
This study examined male and female psychologists in academic administrative positions with regard to their perceptions of their own power and their actual power within the administrative hierarchies in which they work. In the past, researchers have compared women and men in academic administrative positions with regard to parity of numbers, salaries, number of publications and citations, types of institutions where they work and, the job titles they hold. These indices had suggested that women administrators had less prestige, control fewer resources, and a more limited scope of job responsibilities than did men. However, there had been no comparison of the attitudes and self-perception of roles, responsibilities, and resources of female and male psychologists working in academic administration in clinical psychology, a feminized discipline.
It was hypothesized that female and male psychologists in administrative positions would differ in their employment characteristics, use of time, control of resources, and self-perception of influence. A sample of 24 male and 32 female psychologists currently working in academic administration in clinical psychology schools and programs (i.e., member programs of The National Council of School and Programs of Professional Psychology, The Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology, and The Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology) responded to the survey. The female and male respondents did not differ in any of the predicted ways, however it was clear that the characteristics of this sample did not match those of administrators in the constituent professional organizations. Specifically, there were more women than expected and the women and men in the sample did not differ in years of experience or job title, as would have been expected. Results are discussed in terms of the need for parity of number and the optimism that women who are currently in leadership experience their power in ways similar to men.