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Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free to start saving and receiving special member only perks. The analysis draws substantially from the research paper by Drs. Michelle Rodrigues and Kathryn Clancy, which was commissioned for this study. The full research paper can be found online at: www. For decades, sustained investments from foundations, nonprofits, government agencies, and others have supported efforts to improve the representation of girls and women 2 in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical STEMM fields.
While it is true that in many STEMM fields the situation has gotten better, many are concerned that the rate of improvement has been too slow and that progress has plateaued, or even moved backward in some cases. These fears are not unfounded. The authors wish to acknowledge the ificant contribution of the Committee on Understanding and Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Particular Science and Engineering Disciplines to the content of this chapter. Even in medical disciplines, where, as ofthe of women enrolled in medical schools exceeded men for the first time, there is a persistent underrepresentation of women at senior academic or leadership positions that cannot be explained by a time lag between degree completion and career trajectory see Figure In this chapter, the committee reviews research on the shared experiences of women across a range of STEMM disciplines, explores the patterns of representation of women across seven specific disciplines—computer science, engineering, physics, mathematics, medicine, chemistry, and biology—and highlights the importance of considering the intersectional experiences of women of multiple marginalized identities race, class, sexual orientation, disability status when considering the biases and barriers facing women in STEMM.
Rather, substantial research demonstrates that implicit and explicit biases discourage women from entering STEMM careers Cheryan et al. These are factors across the career life cycle:.
While women in all fields face bias and discrimination, the way women experience these behaviors differs by discipline and career stage, leading to similarities or differences that create unique climates for women across the STEMM enterprise.
Across the STEMM fields, women may experience implicit bias and structural barriers at every career stage, including at critical junctures such as consideration for graduate school admission, recruitment into a laboratory for graduate research, consideration for postdoctoral positions, recruitment to fill tenure-track faculty positions, and evaluation for promotion in rank Bronstein and Farnsworth, ; MacNell et al. Biases have cumulative effects leading to outsized disparities at more advanced career levels. For example, Li et al. When biases result in identification of male students as more promising candidates for initial research experiences, the effect of that bias reverberates, continuing to provide additional opportunities for career advancement for that student.
Men are more likely to be. Additionally, culturally engrained biases especially favor White men over men of color and women Milkman et al. In a study in which more than 6, professors at top U. In academic positions within Seeking some chemistry with a black woman, women are more likely to be appointed to teaching-focused positions, where they have less access to external funding or resources and to graduate students Hermanowicz, ; NASEM, b.
For faculty positions that focus primarily on scholarship, disparities in teaching evaluations, often rooted in implicit bias, disadvantage women, especially women of color, when being considered for tenure Jones et al. Women are also less frequently invited to be colloquium speakers than men, particularly at prestigious universities Klein and Briggs, With respect to publishing, women are less likely to receive authorship credit and more likely to experience harsher peer review; moreover, manuscripts with women listed as first or last authors are cited less frequently Bendels et al.
In contrast, men are more likely to receive first authorship or last authorship, and are more likely to be invited by journal editors to serve as reviewers Chawla, ; Lariviere et al. Compounding the disparity, all-male reviewing teams are more likely to reject papers from women Chawla, ; Murray et al. There are additional gender disparities in receiving grant funding Pohlhaus et al.
Because women are fewer in among biomedical research faculty, the rate of application by women for National Institutes of Health funding is therefore lower, but women are also less likely to have their funding renewed after the award has been made Pohlhaus et al.
As a result, men continue to be funded at higher rates. Even within fields where women are well represented or overrepresented at lower ranks, they do not have equivalent representation at higher ranks Addessi et al.
The gendered divisions of labor that exist within academia may be responsible for this disparity. Women shoulder the burden of teaching, mentoring, and service Armstrong and Jovanovic, ; Hermanowicz, ; Kulis et al. Furthermore, women are often marginalized in low-status jobs such as nontenure-track positions or unstable research associate positions dependent on soft money Kulis et al.
Across a variety of fields, as women increase in representation, the status and compensation associated with these fields decreases Kulis et al. Even as women rise to higher ranks, they themselves often contribute to the perpetuation of culturally ingrained biases—women are just as likely as men to evaluate female candidates negatively, and high proportions of White women and minorities exhibit gender biases in evaluating prospective students Milkman et al. Hiring committees excluded heterosexual women with partners who held academic or other high-status jobs that were not easily movable when there were male or single female alternatives.
Rivera also found that committees Seeking some chemistry with a black woman discussed the relationship status of male faculty and saw their female partners as movable. Moreover, African American women faculty experience the same issues of bias, discrimination, and uncivil climate at HBCUs as they do at majority institutions Bonner, Although negative biases are more frequently reported, absences of hiring biases and biases favoring women in academic sciences have been reported NRC, ; Williams and Ceci, According to the National Academies report Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Facultyfemale applicants generally fared better than their male counterparts in tenure-track applications to research-intensive universities NRC, In all six STEMM fields studied, the percentage of women increased—often substantially—from the applicant pool to interviews to job offers.
In electrical engineering, for example, women comprised 11 percent of applicants for tenure-track positions, but 32 percent of those who received job offers. Additionally, a rigorous quantitative synthesis of the experimental literature on gender bias in job-related decisions such as evaluations of competence and hirability showed that, in general, men were preferred for male-dominated jobs, whereas no strong preference for either gender was found for female-dominated jobs Koch et al.
However, biases against hiring women still exist in some contexts, such as in hiring laboratory managers Moss-Racusin et al. These two contexts are notable because such hiring decisions are often made by individual principal investigators with little administrative oversight and formal monitoring.
Preference for hiring women in tenure-track positions may be explained by the competitiveness and ability of such positions by them. The competition for laboratory manager and Seeking some chemistry with a black woman positions is likely less intense, and competency of short-listed candidates may be less easily defined than in tenure-track hiring contexts. In a meta-analysis of gender stereotypes and bias in experimental simulations of employment decision-making, Koch et al. Another consideration is that tenure-track hiring at academic institutions involves more ability than does hiring into other positions.
Koch et al. In other words, professors are often held able to work toward diversity goals in tenure-track hiring, but likely encounter less administrative oversight in other contexts, such as laboratory manager hiring NASEM, Goals for diversifying the professoriate. However, it is likely that these studies underestimate the processes by which many women are excluded from participation in the field at early stages and the ways that small biases in treatment accumulate over time Ginther, ; Mason and Goulden, ; Rigney, ; Valian, There is a long-standing cultural association between masculinity and objectivity in most segments of American society, which in turn, underlies the associations of masculinity with STEMM Bejerano and Bartosh, When Carli et al.
Moreover, nonscientists are less likely to believe a woman is a scientist if she has a feminine rather than masculine appearance Banchefsky et al. These stereotypical associations shape the social and educational environments of children, as well as structural patterns that occur in STEMM professions Banchefsky et al.
Traits such as assertiveness, confidence, boldness, risk-taking, independence, and self-promotion are valued, rewarded, and seen as standards in STEMM Diekman and Steinberg, When women do display these traits, they often encounter backlash in the form of social and economic sanctions Rudman, ; Williams and Tiedens, In addition to undermining the advancement of women in STEMM to positions of leadership, masculine values can al to women that they do not belong in these fields in the first place Bian et al.
In reality, a range of traits and competencies, independent of associations with stereotypes, can be differentially advantageous or disadvantageous depending on situations. Negotiation styles of women, for example, tend to be more relationship driven or more focused on the quality of relationships than the more stereotypically male outcome-driven style focused on specific outcomes.
Relationship-driven negotiation has been associated with better outcomes in business negotiations, dispute resolution, social movements, marriage reconcili. For this reason, scholars have increasingly noted the tendency for women to conceptualize issues such as security and the use of military force in different and more productive ways than their male counterparts Babcock and Laschever, ; Boyer et al. Also, women perform as well as, or better than, men in leadership competency Folkman,not only with respect to characteristics typically associated with women i.
Finally, Tsugawa noted that, when treated by female physicians, more than 1 million elderly hospitalized patients were less likely to die within 30 days of admission or to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge than those cared for by male physicians.
The author estimated that, if male physicians could achieve the same outcomes as their female colleagues, there would be 32, fewer deaths each year among Medicare patients and offered as a conclusion the following statement:. There was ample evidence that male and female physicians practice medicine differently. Our findings suggest that those differences matter and are important to patient health. We need to understand why female physicians have lower mortality so that all patients can have the best possible outcomes, irrespective of the gender of their physician.
Gender discrimination, biases, stereotypes, and microaggressions against men have been well documented, primarily in health fields, such as nursing and other health sciences, where men are not well represented. In a survey examining reasons for this lack of male participation in the field, respondents widely cited stereotypes as a top challenge. Other barriers cited included a lack of career support, few male nurse educators and mentors, a feeling of being unwelcome in the clinical setting, and sex-related bias in obstetric rotations Hart, Men have also reported experiencing microaggressions, particularly if they demonstrate an aptitude or interest in a STEMM field that is primary dominated by women, such as nursing.
This can contribute to a lack of men pursuing careers in the field Hart, Similarly, there is male gender segregation in a of medical specialties. This has been the case, in particular, in medical subspecialties where women are well represented and the field has thus faced a corresponding drop in prestige and pay. Hughes and Bernstein, Similarly, men in obstetrics and gynecology may be negatively affected by unconscious bias and socially prescribed roles for men and women Hughes and Bernstein, In another study examining performance and gender representation in obstetrics and gynecology clerkships, male students reported that their gender negatively affected their experience during the clerkship Craig et al.
Additionally, there are fewer male students applying for obstetric and gynecology residency Craig et al. As Hughes et al.
Women experience high rates of sexual harassment in science, engineering, and medical education and careers NASEM, b. Sexual harassment consists of three forms: gender harassment verbal and nonverbal behaviors that convey hostility, objectification, exclusion, or second-class status about members of one gender ; unwanted sexual attention unwelcome verbal or physical sexual advances, which can include assault ; and sexual coercion when favorable professional or educational treatment is conditioned on sexual activity NASEM, b.
Women commonly and disproportionately experience sexual harassment at multiple career levels. Surveys from a university system and a university with multiple campuses demonstrate that 20—50 percent of women students experience sexual harassment from faculty or staff, depending on their stage of education and field Krebs et al. The best meta-analysis of surveys to date indicates that more than 50 percent of women employees faculty and staff in academia experience sexual harassment Ilies et al. Research shows that these s are far worse for women with intersecting marginalized identities Buchanan et al.
Of the three types of sexual harassment, gender harassment is the most common and can be as harmful as the other forms of sexual harassment NASEM, b. Examples of gender harassing behavior include comments that denigrate women as a group or as individuals in gendered terms, and comments about women that are crude or sexist.
Gender harassing behavior can also include visual behavior such as leaving porn or lewd images in group spaces. Gender harass. Additionally, sexual harassment often takes place within environments in which incivility occurs Lim and Cortina, A National Academies consensus study report concluded that the cumulative result of sexual harassment in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine is ificant damage to research integrity and a costly loss of talent in these fields NASEM, b.
When women experience sexual harassment in the workplace, the professional outcomes include increases in job stress Barling and Cooper, ; Fitzgerald et al.Seeking some chemistry with a black woman
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