38 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 295 2018 disappointing results. As Table 5 demonstrates, the Caucasian portion exceeds that of the larger population. African American Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander Native American or Native Alaskan Caucasian/ Other Director 5% 0% 5% 1% 89% Assistant/Associate Director 4% 1% 4% 0% 91% Head, Medical 11% 2% 0% 0% 87% Head, Law 5% 3% 2% 2% 89% Department heads 4% 2% 6% 0% 87% Table 5: Racial and Ethnic Groups as a Percentage of Supervisory Job Categories in US ARL University Libraries, 2015 Female and Male ARL Professionals The ratio of female to male professionals in ARL university libraries has been as consistent over time as this population’s racial and ethnic composition.5 Going back decades, women account for about 64% of the population. As with racial diversity, this consistency is the more remarkable against the backdrop of social upheaval in this sphere. In the case of biological sex, the biggest demographic shift over the past 50 years has been the movement of young women away from traditionally female-dominated professions beginning in the 1960s and 1970s.6 In the case of librarianship, while younger women were not drawn to the profession, older women were, resulting in no discernable change in the ratio of females to males. Recent hiring trends seem unlikely to change things, as in 2015, women accounted for 67% of new hires, just slightly higher than their share of the overall population. There is at least one social upheaval…that has had a dramatic impact on the ARL professional workforce, and that is the trend towards women choosing to pursue, and being chosen for, leadership positions.
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