Although the overall number of female full-time faculty in higher education has increased over the years, gender inequalities persist among tenured positions, according to research by Bridget Turner Kelly, associate professor of education.

She’s been examining the data since 2003 for the “Women in the Academy” study, and argues in an op/ed published by the Brookings Institution that for students to reap the benefits of women faculty’s unique contributions, we need to address such inequities in the system:

Gender inequalities persist in the academy, preventing both white women and women of color faculty from making the scholarly and curricular contributions that only they can make. As smart as we academics are, we have not figured out a way to rid systemic sexism and gender inequities from faculty life. Even more, when sexism intertwines with other marginalized identities like race, we do even worse at rooting out inequities. In addition to the curricular and scholarly contributions women faculty make that are distinct from men faculty, women faculty of color contribute to increasing the participation and retention of students of color, a major focus of higher education missions. Yet, the academy continues to hinder them from achieving their maximum impact.

Read the full essay here.