March 8, 2022 | Mona Oates

How to Recruit and Hire Women in Academia

For more than a decade women have been earning far more doctoral degrees than men. However, male candidates surpass women in gaining tenure, getting published, and reach leadership positions.

Women are not equally represented in higher education but much of the focus on why is based on structural barriers. A study by Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) found widespread implicit biases against women and their academic work.

However, to hire women or diverse groups does not need to be about gender. If you want to see more women in your workforce, consider the following tips on how to recruit and hire women in academia. Or if you are looking to find a higher education position, take note to set your standard.


How to Recruit and Hire Women in Academia

Higher education and research institutions are forerunners when it comes to improving diversity in their workforce. However, implicit biases tend to linger and prevent highly qualified candidates to be hired or to accept the job.

Speaker Events

Candidates may mingle with faculty and build a relationship. How to Recruit and Hire Women in Academia

If you are seeking to recruit a diverse workforce, consider opportunities for potential candidates to speak at your institution. These events allow potential applicants to attend your facilities before they are looking to apply.

The opportunity to speak at an event or department generates excitement and allows for the speakers to mingle with faculty and build a relationship outside of the interview environment.

If the institution funds the visit socioeconomic inequities between candidates are lowered. This highlights your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the workplace. The department could organize a virtual event to reduce expenses. However, face -on-face interactions are priceless.

Inclusive Job Postings

Academic Diversity Search is optimized to reach your desired women and underrepresented candidates. How to Recruit and Hire Women in Academia

The first step to reach many future candidates is by publishing your employee needs on assorted job boards. Specialized job boards such as Academic Diversity Search are optimized to reach your desired women and underrepresented candidates.

Your job description has to focus on the position’s role and expectation. Remove alienating terms like “rock star” or “powerhouse” and ensure that job titles are clear and concise.

Include salary ranges. Through transparency about the salary ranges you promote equal pay and that your institutions prioritizes qualification over gender.

Interviewing Etiquette

Potential candidates are busy working and looking for a new opportunity. Set yourself and the interviewing team a definite time limit to respect the interviewee’s time. Extending the meeting can be possible but should confirmed with your candidate. If it is clear that they have a time limit, please respect it by ensuring that you can complete the interview in the designated timeframe.

Encourage candidates to contemplate their responses before answering your questions. Being in a physical or virtual room with strangers can be stressful and generate a power imbalance. Allow them to be mindful of their answers and to overcome reactionary responses.

Comments can be misinterpreted, and some themes should not be mentioned in an interview. Marital status, gender related scandals, racist and sexist jokes and remarks should all be avoided. The candidate may have had a trauma related to these topics, plus they are all irrelevant to an interviewee’s qualifications for the position.

Be an Active Role Model

Awkward and inappropriate comments happen during interviews. Instead of brushing over the incident show initiative and correct the person on their behavior. You demonstrate responsibility and represent an institution that acts on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statements. Candidates will appreciate your act and may feel more comfortable to be part of your team.

demonstrate responsibility and represent an institution that acts. How to Recruit and Hire Women in Academia


Hofstra, B. (2021). Stanford research reveals a hidden obstacle for women in academia. Stanford News. Retrieved March 03, 2022, from

Pierson, E., Redmiles, E., Battle, L., & Hullman, J. (2020). If you want more women in your workforce, here’s how to recruit. Nature. Retrieved March 01, 2022, from


O’Brien, S. (2019). How to Recruit More Women to Your Company. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved March 01, 2022, from