Rice Reports Gains for Stanford's Female Faculty, but Some Disagree

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STANFORD, Calif.--Female professors at Stanford University say subtle discrimination hurts their chances for advancement despite a report that shows the university has made gains in hiring and promoting women.

"There are departments at Stanford that have never had one woman faculty member and others who have never promoted one," says Laura Carstensen, director of Stanford's Center for Research of Women and Gender.

Hard-to-detect biases in the selection and granting of tenure to women have left Stanford "near the bottom" in rankings of elite universities on the percentage of women on their faculties, she says.

"We are improving, but our competition is improving as fast or faster," says Carstensen, a leader of Stanford's Women's Faculty Caucus, which has been pressing the university for changes in hiring and promoting women.

Her remarks were echoed by several other female professors at a meeting of Stanford's faculty senate last month, where Provost Condoleezza Rice gave her third annual report on the status of female faculty.

The provost's report was given against the backdrop of a U. …