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A. Tenure-Track Hiring

Traditional hiring practices may work against women as candidates for tenure-track positions in research universities, large national observatories, and science institutes. Statistics show that the fraction of women in the tenure-track pool has increased over the last two decades, but the fraction of women in tenure-track positions has not grown commensurately. It is the clear responsibility of research organizations to take affirmative steps to ensure that all viable candidates for tenure-track positions are identified and given equal opportunity both for hiring and success. While specifically calling out tenure-track hiring as an area of immediate concern, we recognize that the same practices should be applied to hiring for all positions. In this spirit, we make the following recommendations to these organizations.


  1. Ensure that all search committees for tenure-track positions contain two or more members whose specific task is to advocate for consideration of candidates from groups that are underrepresented in astronomy.
  2. Require that search committees be informed about what constitutes legal and ethical hiring practices.
  3. Actively recruit women to apply for tenure-track positions.
  4. Develop policies encouraging flexible means of accommodating dual-career couples.
  5. Require accountability in the hiring process, using appropriate institutional channels, so that results are commensurate with the possible candidate pool.
  6. If two candidates for the same position have equal qualifications within the uncertainties, the candidate from the underrepresented group should be hired.
Follow-up Suggestions for Implementation:
Other Resources:
University of Washington ADVANCE project - includes the faculty recruitment toolkit (resources)