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The Leak in the Academic Pipeline: on Black Women Sociologists

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Abstract

There exists a “leak” in the academic pipeline centered on Black women sociologists. This leak exists in large part due to gatekeepers, who have attempted to protect the hidden curricula used to preserve predominantly male, White, old, conservative spaces (Romero 2017). Victim blaming, stigmatizing, exclusion, and tracking begin during the professionalization process in graduate school for many women of color and continue into their academic career (Margolis and Romero 1998). Mentoring in academia has been cited as a major contributing factor to professional success and career advancement; yet, access and quality of mentoring remain an issue for women of color (Pitt 2016). After moving from graduate school, salary differentials are cited as another contributor, leading to job dissatisfaction, decreased retention, higher rates of battle fatigue, and workplace stress (Pitt 2016). The state of Black women sociologists in the twenty-first century oddly has not changed much over the past century (Wilson 2012). This piece identifies structures of oppression that act as barriers to the incorporation of Black women sociologists in academic spaces, causing the leak. We then mitigate these entities by offering strategies to develop spaces of equity to combat the multiple jeopardies faced by Black women sociologists (Collins 2000).

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Correspondence to Melinda Jackson-Jefferson.

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Green, D., Jackson-Jefferson, M. The Leak in the Academic Pipeline: on Black Women Sociologists. J Econ Race Policy 4, 104–111 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41996-020-00072-z

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