Gender and STEM

"Does Gender Matter?" Ben A. Barres. 2006. Nature.com.

Article argues against the hypothesis that women are not advancing in STEM fields because of innate inability rather than because of bias or other factors and argues that this “Larry Summers Hypothesis” amounts to nothing more than victim blaming and is harmful to women. Barres suggests that enhancement of leadership diversity in academic and scientific institutions, diverse faculty role models, less silence in the face of discrimination, and enhancing fairness in competitive selection processes as strategies to help women advance in the sciences. http://www.transfriendly.co.uk/library/nature-442133a.pdf

 

"When Women Stopped Coding. Interview with Steve Henn and Patty Ordonez." NPR. October 21, 2014.

This interview explores the history of women in computer science. Prior to 1984, the number of women in computer science grew at a faster rate than the number of men. With the invention of the personal computer, which was marketed as a toy and targeted at boys, specifically, the number of women in computer science began a steady fall.

 

“New Documentary Shows What Happens When There Aren’t Enough Women in Tech.” Matt McCue. April 24, 2015. Fortune Magazine.

Article discusses new documentary by Robin Hauser Reynolds that digs into the reasons the tech industry needs more female computer programmers, i.e. women hold 18% or fewer tech positions at places such as Pandora, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter.

http://fortune.com/2015/04/24/women-tech-documentary/

 

"Women Are Earning Greater Share of STEM Degrees, but Doctorates Remain Gender-Skewed." John Matson. April 16, 2013. Scientific American.

In 2008, for the first time, U.S. women earned more doctorates in biology than men did. But advanced degrees in other core disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) remain stubbornly gender-imbalanced. Analysis indicators point toward gender parity the prospect of short-term postdoctoral jobs that complicate child rearing, and a lack of role models.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/women-earning-greater-share-stem-degrees-doctorates-remain-gender-skewed/

 

"Study suggests STEM faculty hiring favors women over men." Colleen Flaherty. April 14, 2015. Inside Higher Ed.

Wendy M. Williams and Stephen Ceci at Cornell argue that past studies of gender bias in STEM hiring don’t focus on faculty positions, where there isn’t really a problem and find an overall 2 to 1 preference for hiring women in STEM in a recent study. Arguments regarding low numbers of existing women faculty in STEM and highly qualified candidates compared to merely excellent candidates challenge this study.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/14/study-suggests-stem-faculty-hiring-favors-women-over-men

 

"Gender Equity in Science: Achievement Unlocked?" Joanna Korman & Stephanie Goodwin. May 22, 2015. The Inquisitive Mind.

In response to Williams & Ceci (2015) 2:1 hiring preference for female over male candidates for tenure-track jobs in STEM, this article deconstructs how the research was conducted and what can and cannot be concluded from their results. They conclude from the study that when judging two exceptionally qualified final candidates with explicitly defined and identical lifestyles, faculty seem to err on the side of improving gender equity in their disciplines. This does suggest that efforts to inform the professoriate about the need for gender equity is having an impact, but only when “all other things” are equal.

http://www.in-mind.org/blog/post/gender-equity-in-science-achievement-unlocked

 

"The 24/7 Work Culture’s Toll on Families and Gender Equality." Claire Cain Miller. May 28, 2015. The New York Times.

Article discusses Harvard study that examines a global consulting firm where 90 percent of the partners are men who work 60-65 hours per week, asking what can be done to decrease the number of women who quit and increase the number who were promoted. Study finds when women cut back at work to cope with long hours, they can stunt their careers & neither men or women benefit from extreme work hours.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/upshot/the-24-7-work-cultures-toll-on-families-and-gender-equality.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1

 

 

"Preview: Gender Gap in Science." GG Gadmin. April 2015. Gender Gap Grader.

Article discusses study in gender gap that analyzes attrition rate among women pursuing a scientific career; unconscious gender biases in the way scientists accept a paper for publication or make citations, differences in career paths and grants allocations.  Findings identify varying statistics around the gender gap in science, with some improvements and some worsening.

http://gendergapgrader.com/2015/04/preview-gender-gap-in-science/

 

"Despite Progress Only 1 in 4 University Presidents are Women." Audrey Williams June. March 16, 2015. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Despite progress in hiring female university presidents, including Ivy League, public flagship, historically black, liberal arts and community colleges, women remain significantly underrepresented. Article discusses strategies to quicken a cultural shift in order to level the playing field.

http://chronicle.com/article/Despite-Progress-Only-1-in-4/228473/?key=HW93dAMxYnUQNn1gNGwWPDwHbnBsMxgkNiFAY38vblxQFA%3D%3D

 

"Science still seen as male profession, according to international study of gender bias." Rachel Bernstein. May 22, 2015. AAAS.org.

Regardless of location stereotype associating science with men are found across the world, even in supposedly gender-equal nations. According to David Miller (Northwestern University) all countries exhibit these stereotypes, yet those with fewer women in science held stronger beliefs that science is for men. This trend holds true for both explicit beliefs, as measured by responses to a statement about associating science with men or women, and implicit associations, determined by a computerized test that probes subconscious associations between science and gender.

http://news.sciencemag.org/social-sciences/2015/05/science-still-seen-male-profession-according-international-study-gender-bias

 

"First steps for integrating sex and gender considerations into basic experimental biomedical research." Stacey Ritz, et. al. January 2014. The FASEB Journal.

Sex and gender in biology and medicine are comprehensive understandings of biological phenomena that addresses gaps in medical knowledge have arisen due to a generally masculine bias in research. Unique challenges to the incorporation of sex and gender in work have remained largely unarticulated, misunderstood, and unaddressed in the literature.  This article describes some of the specific challenges to the incorporation of sex and gender considerations in research involving cell cultures and laboratory animals. The main- streaming of sex and gender considerations in basic biomedical research depends on an approach that will allow scientists to address these issues in ways that do not undermine the ability to pursue fundamental scientific interests. Article suggests a number of strategies that allow basic experimental researchers to feasibly and meaningfully take sex and gender into account in their work.

http://www.fasebj.org/content/28/1/4.full.pdf+html

 

"Pentagon to Analyze Grantsmaking Process for Gender Bias." Jeffery Mervis. May 18, 2015. Science Magazine.

Article overviews the intention of the Department of Defense (DOD) to start collecting data on gender of its grant applications and award recipients to help determine if women in science and engineering face any discrimination in the grantmaking process. http://news.sciencemag.org/funding/2015/05/pentagon-analyze-grantsmaking-process-gender-bias

 

"Consequences of Flexibility Stigma Among Academic Scientists & Engineers."  Erin Cech & Mary Blair-Loy. 2014. Work and Occupations.

Flexibility stigma, the devaluation of workers who seek or are presumed to need flexible work arrangements, fosters a mismatch between workplace demands and the needs of professionals. The authors survey “ideal faculty” at a top STEM research university—to determine the consequences of working in an environment with flexibility stigma. Those who report this stigma have lower intentions to persist, worse work–life balance, and lower job satisfaction. These consequences are net of gender and parenthood, suggesting that flexibility stigma fosters a problematic environment for many faculty, even those not personally at risk of stigmatization.

http://wox.sagepub.com/content/41/1/86.full.pdf+html

 

"Disciplines that Expect Brilliance Tend to Punish Women." Madeline Will. January 15, 2015. Chronicle of Higher Ed.

Cultural obsession with genius might be connected to gender-gap in certain academic fields. Study finds that many disciplines (i.e. STEM) with a small proportion of female PhD students place greater emphasis on brilliance as prerequisites to success while disciplines such as education, psychology, & molecular biology that have a majority of women don’t emphasis on innate brilliance.  Ultimately, findings show that the issue is not with women’s aptitude, but in the discipline’s attitude.

http://chronicle.com/article/Disciplines-That-Expect/151217/

 

"Female Academics Pay Heavy Baby Penalty." Mary Ann Mason. June 24, 2013. Slate.com.

Study looks at women who begin the climb to the top of the Ivory Tower, but do not make it: tenured faculty, full professors, deans, and presidents. The findings show that women pay a “baby penalty” over the course of a career in academia and that babies matter in different ways at different times.  Article discusses that family formation negatively affects women’s, but not men’s, academic careers. For men, having children is a career advantage; for women, it is a career killer. are far less likely to be married with children.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/06/female_academics_pay_a_heavy_baby_penalty.html

 

"Expectations of Brilliance Underlie Gender Distributions Across Academic Disciplines." Sarah-Jane Leslie, et al. January 16, 2015. Sciencemag.org.

Some scientific disciplines have lower percentages of women in academia than others. Leslie et al. hypothesized that general attitudes about the discipline would reflect the representation of women in those fields. Surveys revealed that some fields are believed to require attributes such as brilliance and genius, whereas other fields are believed to require more empathy or hard work. In fields where people thought that raw talent was required, academic departments had lower percentages of women.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6219/262

 

"Paradigms and prejudice." Leif Benderly. December 4, 2014. Science Magazine.

This paper analyzes the question: “Why do women constitute a minority of faculty members, especially in math-intensive fields?” in light of the recently published essay by Williams and Ceci challenging long-established beliefs that academic science is sexist.  The conflict between long held views on gender bias in the science and the Williams & Ceci essay that claim there is no gender bias are examined in this paper.

http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2014_12_04/caredit.a1400301

 

"Force Men to Take Paternity Leave. It Will Make the World a Better Place." Gabrielle Jackson. April 9, 2015. The Guardian.

Article discusses paternity leave policy where incremental change could lead to long-lasting benefits for families, kids, women and men. Five reasons to promote paternity leave are, better and happier dads, greater equality in the workplace, more egalitarian relationships, doing it for the kids, and more sex.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/10/want-better-dads-happier-mums-and-healthier-kids-make-men-take-paternity-leave

 

"Women’s Representation in Science Predicts National Gender-Science Stereotypes: Evidence From 66 Nations." David I. Miller, Alice Eagly & Marcia C. Linn. 2014. American Psychological Association.

Research investigating how national differences in women’s science participation related to gender-science stereotypes, associates science with men more than women. Data from 350,000 participants in 66 nations indicated that higher female enrollment in tertiary science education (community college or above) related to weaker explicit and implicit national gender-science stereotypes. Higher female employment in the researcher workforce related to weaker explicit, but not implicit, gender-science stereotypes. These relationships remained after controlling for many theoretically relevant covariates. Implications for instructional practices and educational policies are discussed.

https://d-miller.github.io/assets/MillerEaglyLinn2015.pdf

 

"Professors Are More Responsive to Prospective Ph.D. Students Who Are White and Male." Katherine L. Milkman, Modupe Akinola & Dolly Chugh. April 17, 2015. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Discussion of article published in Journal of Applied Psychology on the topic of study finding that white male students are much more likely than female or minority students to hear back from faculty member when they send emails asking to meet to talk about the professor’ work and the students’ prospects for doctoral study.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/doctoral-faculty-are-more-responsive-to-white-male-prospective-students-study-finds/97459

 

"Op-Ed: The still-tolerated gender bias in science." Sarah M. Demers. March 29, 2013. Ted Talk Blog.

Article discusses how women currently can build up their credentials and compete for the same careers in science as men informed by reports that indicate there is less misogynist rejection of women and less claims about men having more innate scientific ability. However, despite this progress, women still only account for about one in ten physics professors in the U.S. This indicates that there is more talk about eradicating bias than actual action.

http://blog.ted.com/op-ed-the-still-tolerated-gender-bias-in-science/

 

"Mom, the Designated Worrier." Judith Shulevitz. May 8, 2015. The New York Times.

Article discusses the management of familial duties, “worry work” and the person who does it “designated worrier,” due to the large reserves of emotional energy necessary to stay on top of it all. Sociological studies of heterosexual couples from all strata of society confirm that mothers draft the to-do lists while fathers pick and choose among the items. “Worry work” can scatter a mother’s focus on what she does for pay and knock her partway or off a career path. This distracting grind of apprehension and organization may be one of the least movable obstacles to women’s equality in the workplace.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/opinion/sunday/judith-shulevitz-mom-the-designated-worrier.html?_r=0

 

"More Women Find Room for Babies and Advanced Degrees." Tamar Lewin. May 7, 2015. The New York Times.

Article discusses new data analysis from the Census Bureau indicating a rise of highly educated women who choose to have children, including those women in their mid-forties. Demographers indicate that the ranks of female professionals have also grown, and that women sense that career and motherhood do not need to be mutually exclusive.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/08/us/more-highly-educated-women-are-also-having-children-researchers-find.html?_r=0

 

"The Gender Divide in Academe: Insights on Retaining More Academic Women." Various authors. The Chronicle of Higher Education. December 12, 2014.

This is a collection of articles that explores a variety of perspectives on the gender gap in higher education, including how some colleges and universities are creating ways to support and retain female academics. Several articles relate directly to STEM fields.

 

"Women: A Key Element" Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry. November 5, 2015.

This is a collection of digital stories about women in chemistry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2AIxc647UE&feature=youtu.be