The invisible challenges: Gender differences among public administration faculty

Female faculty members in public service programs take on a disproportionate amount of advising and mentoring responsibilities yet are less likely to be in leadership positions at universities. Women in the discipline may have additional responsibilities in mentoring not only their students, but also other faculty, advocating for social and/or gender equity through service and teaching commitments, and upholding public service values, which may come at the expense of career advancement. Using data collected from a survey of male and female faculty in public service, we find significant gender differences in perceptions of their professional experiences. Based on these gender differences, we discuss four invisible challenges that are common to women in public service academic departments. We conclude that perceived gender differences in faculty responsibilities and experiences may impact individuals’ professional experiences related to job satisfaction, advancement, and promotion.