Four of the 20 tenure-track faculty members in the Department of Philosophy at UChicago are women; that is, 20 percent. Although those numbers are typical of major philosophy departments in the United States, says Professor Gabriel Richardson Lear, the department has actively sought to include more women at all levels of its programs.

Women in Philosophy, a faculty and graduate student group, is “dedicated to creating philosophical environments in which women feel comfortable, encouraged, and challenged,” according to the group’s website. They host lunches, dinners, and guest speakers throughout the year and a blog with news and updates from the field. In 2012 the group organized a survey of UChicago’s undergraduate student body to learn about how gender affected their classroom experiences. Afterward they convened a departmental meeting with faculty and graduate students to discuss the issues and consider ways to better connect with women and “create an academic space in which they can thrive.”

Meanwhile, students also have created a registered student organization called Undergraduate Women in Philosophy to increase the percentage of female students who study philosophy and to augment female participation in the classroom. The group meets weekly for discussions with faculty and graduate students and to share information. They plan to launch a journal, The UChicago Philosophy Review, which will dedicate its inaugural issue to the subject of women in philosophy.