What causes the gender gap in science and engineering? It’s gender bias and institutional sexism, says a new National Academies’ report, “Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering.”
Cathy Young has doubts, observing that the panel was made up of women who believe sexism is the problem for women in science; dissenters weren’t included.
Motherhood is correlated with slower advancement.
(The report) cites a study that “found single women scientists and engineers [were] 16 percent more likely than single men to be in tenure track jobs five years after the PhD, while married women with children were 45 percent less likely than married men with children to be in tenure track positions.”
Yet these facts are treated as a result of discrimination against people with family responsibilities and of the outmoded assumption that a scientist has a spouse to take care of such matters. Proposed remedies include more family-friendly policies. But what if single-minded devotion to work really is essential to outstanding success in science?
Combining books and babies isn’t easy, say Stanford graduate students.