The Washington Post

Science professors biased against females — study

A new Yale University study shows that bias against women persists in the sciences — in this case, at the university level, where science professors of both sexes were found to rate males as “significantly more competent and hireable” than equally qualified female applicants.


According to an abstract of the study, faculty members who participated not only rated male applicants higher but also offered them more career mentoring opportunities and offered a higher starting salary.

“Female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student,” the abstract says.

The study found that “preexisting subtle bias against women” played a role in the finding. The results, it says, “suggest that interventions addressing faculty gender bias might advance the goal of increasing the participation of women in science.”

Here are some other facts about women in STEM, according to sources including the American Association for Women in Science and the U.S. Department of Commerce:

* Women receive fewer scholarly awards than would be expected based on the proportion of PhDs and full professors in scientific fields.

* Women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy but have less than 25 percent of STEM jobs.

* Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.

* Fifty seven percent of female STEM majors study physical and life sciences, while fewer than one-third (31 percent) of men choose these fields.

* Women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare.


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Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.


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