Scholarship Rates of Women within AEJMC Divisions, Interest Groups, and Commissions (1994-2003)

Article excerpt

This study considers refereed scholarship and levels of inclusion by gender within and among AEJMC's divisions, interest groups, and commissions. It is a census of all blindly reviewed research accepted to AEJMC conventions from 1994 to 2003. Women are authoring convention research at rates (42.9%) comparable to their percentage of membership in AEJMC (40%). Women author a majority of the convention scholarship on public relations and magazines; little on media management and economics, international, or communication theory and methodology.

Women seem to be making progress-be it slow-toward the goal set by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) for 50% representation by women and minorities on journalism and mass communication faculties and among administrators.1 Women held just 28.7%2 of the faculty positions back in 1989 when AEJMC adopted this resolution. This number had increased to 35.5% by 1998.3 The membership of AEJMC has, over the decades, mirrored this disparity, but its demographics also reflect movement toward gender-based representation in the organization. A 2002 census of AEJMC membership reported that women comprised 40% of its members,4 up from 32.6% in 1996,5 28% in 1992,B and 24% in 1988.7

Curiously, during this period when women represented between 24% and 28% of the organizational membership, they produced 41% of the blindly refereed research papers presented to the convention of AEJMC.8 Adams and Bodle suggested that one explanation for this substantial difference between men and women in the per capita rates of membership and authorship of conference papers was that AEJMC has an agenda to encourage refereed papers about groups identified as being historically disadvantaged. They note, for instance, that there is no Commission on the Status of Men, while such a group does exist for women.9 That study reported the specific percentage of blindly reviewed research produced by women within each division, but it did not provide such information for specific commissions, committees, interest groups, and task forces during their seven-year census of scholarship presented to the convention of AEJMC. This current study offers separate productivity totals for divisions and nondivisions while also documenting trends in co-sponsorship among these groups at the convention of AEJMC from 1994 to 2003. Thus, it becomes possible to quantitatively probe whether women are still producing convention scholarship at per capita rates higher than their faculty representation and in what areas (as defined by AEJMC's divisional structure; see Methods section).10

Knowing how well women are succeeding with convention scholarship is important because it provides the organization of AEJMC with information on how well it is meeting its diversity goals and whether certain divisions, commissions, and interest groups are succeeding better at this than others, or are fostering an environment that encourages women to submit their work there. It also assists in determining progress toward the goals embodied in Standard 12 of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). While that standard (and its goals) contextually considers academic units and their student populations and faculties, its calling to "demonstrate a commitment to increased diversity and inclusivity" can be extended to the production of convention scholarship within AEJMC divisions, commissions, committees, and interest groups.

This study is a census of the refereed scholarship affiliations of women producing research presented to the convention of AEJMC over the last decade (to 2003). The earlier Adams and Bodle study (1987 to 1993) identified the percentage of convention research papers produced by women11-not numerically how many women actually authored or coauthored these research papers in each division, commission, committee, interest group, and task force scholarship. …