Based on a recent survey of political science professors in the United States, women tend to win teaching awards at higher rates than their male counterparts. This may seem like good news for female faculty, particularly amid continuing reports of gender gaps in publications and citations as well as the “leaky pipeline” phenomenon within promotions. However, a closer look at these findings suggests that in cases in which such awards might be most beneficial to women, they are less likely than their male colleagues to receive such acknowledgments. In fact, women are more likely than men to receive these awards only in institutional contexts in which research output is more important for tenure and promotion than teaching. Thus, the achievement of teaching excellence may have an overall negative impact on the advancement of female faculty by reducing their time and focus available for research.
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