39 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 295 2018 There is at least one social upheaval related to the ratio of female and male professionals 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. The case of ARL directors is the most visible, and arguably the most important. (See Figure 3.) The steady rise in the percentage of female directors is impressive between 1986 and 2005, the first year that females outnumber their male counterparts. Since 2005, that growth rate declines, such that in 2015, 57% of directors were female. Figure 3 It is natural to expect the percentage of female directors to match their portion of the larger population, but there is no reason to think that it might not go higher still. ARL medical library directors are a case in point: interestingly, women held the majority of such positions going back to 1986, but began a steady rise in 1994, reaching 78% in 2015. (See Figure 4.) By contrast, the graph of law library directors looks much closer to that of ARL directors, both groups having reached a tipping point around the years 2000 and 2005. (See Figure 5.)
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