Hastings Women’s Law Journal


Despite earning more than 40% of doctorates awarded in the United States, women hold one third of the tenure-track teaching positions in higher education. Moreover, the women who enter U.S. academia still earn less than their male counterparts. This article maintains that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers an inadequate solution for encouraging the presence and equal standing of women in U.S. academia. This article presents the slow progress of equality in academia achieved by Title VII and the limitations of traditional rhetoric. It then offers models of faculty mentoring and introduces the concept of invitational rhetoric, which promotes equality and self-determination in relationships. The author argues that faculty mentoring and the use of invitational rhetoric would help close the gap between women and men in faculty positions in academia.