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As part of the ongoing work by the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession (CSWP), we offer an empirical analysis of the pipeline problem in academia. The image of a pipeline is a commonly advanced explanation for persistent discrimination that suggests that gender inequality will decline once there are sufficient numbers of qualified women in the hiring pool. The CSWP believes that it is important to ask whether this phenomenon is actually occurring, because the implication is that we can explain inequality as a function of insufficient numbers of trained women in the pool, rather than as a result of ongoing discrimination that requires alternate remedies. Data from the American Association of University Professors suggests that merely increasing the pool of qualified women has not led to a commensurate number of women rising to the top in academia. Women are still ending up in lower paid jobs, and they continue to earn less than men in comparable positions. More aggressive policies to end discrimination are required.
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