Forbes Columnist Concludes That Concerns Over Pay, Promotion Drive Female Exits From Engineering and Says Mentoring and Networks Could Help
Jennifer Hunt, Ph.D., in a column in Forbes says that, "The high share of male workers and women's concerns about pay and promotion opportunities are key factors in the excess female exit rates from engineering." In a column in the June 8, 2010 edition of Forbes.com that originally appeared in a version on VoxEU.org, Hunt suggests that remedies should be applied to all fields with a high share of male workers, such as engineering. She indicates that women's dissatisfaction over pay and promotion opportunities explains about 60% of the gender differential in exit rates.
"According to the 1993 and 2003 National Surveys of College Graduates, the exit rate for women compared to men is indeed higher in science and engineering than in other fields," she writes. "The gap is concentrated more in engineering than in science, and in exits to other fields rather than to nonemployment."
VoxEU.org is a policy portal set up by the Centre for Economic Policy Research in conjunction with a consortium of national sites. Hunt is a professor of economics at McGill University, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research inCambridge, Mass., a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, and is on the Scientific Advisory Council of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, D.C.
AAUW's "Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics" Presents Findings on Barriers to Women's Progress in STEM
The American Association of University Women in a spring 2010 report asks why so few women have succeeded as scientists and engineers, even as women are gaining prominence in the fields of law, business and medicine. Its research report Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics offers findings that suggest environmental and social barriers, "including stereotypes, gender bias and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities ... continue to block women’s participation and progress in science, technology, engineering, and math." The report also presents statistics and suggests ways to make scientific and engineering fields more engaging and open for girls and women.
Anita Borg Institute Suggests How to Retain Women Senior Leaders in Technology
In its March 2010 report “Senior Technical Women: A Profile of Success,” the Anita Borg Institute For Women and Technology detailed the traits of senior women in technology in industry. They found similar issues and barriers for women’s success in technology jobs in industry as other studies have detailed in academia.
Quoting from the Anita Borg Institute’s documents, “Based on the research findings, the report makes recommendations for companies who wish to retain senior technical women and further advance their careers. Some of the recommendations include:
MIT Report Details Gains inDiverse Recruitment Efforts But Says Results Remain Uneven
A report that is the product of 2 1/2 years of research and analysis by an MIT faculty team suggests that MIT's efforts to hire and keep underrepresented minority faculty have demonstrated results. Yet, the results are uneven, and more effective policies and procedures are needed for MIT to foster a "culture of inclusion," the report concludes.
Recommendations included development of strategies for improving recruitment, formal mentoring for junior faculty members, annual reviews starting with the first year of faculty employment, broadened faculty searches to carefully chosen institutions, forums where race and cross-cultural interactions are discussed openly, and inclusion of MIT's most respected scholars, scientists and engineers as diversity issues spokespeople.
Female Scientists Do Twice As Much Housework as Male Colleagues
A new study from the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education in January 2010 says women scientists do 54 percent of primary household tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. This is about twice as much as their male counterparts.
The study published in the latest issue of Academe, "Housework Is an Academic Issue," found that female senior and junior faculty members worked similar numbers of hours doing housework. "These findings have important policy implications," say the authors Londa Schiebinger and Shannon K. Gilmartin in AcademeOnline. "Over the past three decades, governments, universities, and industries have dedicated often robust resources to efforts to increase the number of women scientists—and yet progress in attracting more women to science has stalled. The 2009 National Academies report Gender Differences at Critical Transitions stresses that research must explore “gender differences in the obligations outside of professional responsibilities” in order to understand women’s career choices and outcomes more fully."
Way back in the early days of the Clinton administration, Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, which mandates that large organizations provide 12 weeks of unpaid family leave; but in the past two decades the U.S. has fallen shockingly behind other nations in adopting policies that empower women and men to maintain their professional identities — and incomes — while bearing and raising children
Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering
A report recommending broad steps to eliminate gender bias in research universities based upon findings by the National Academies (8 Sept 2006.)