Friday, June 05, 2009

Still: Women underrepresented in applicant pool for science faculty positions

This is the same result I remember from the last report. Basically, even when women are present in equal numbers in graduate programs, they are less likely than men to apply for faculty positions in their field. However, women who do have faculty positions are generally compensated as well as men. The bottleneck is in the applicant pool.

Why? Here's what I think: women are motivated to pursue science. Once they have reached the point of considering whether to apply for a faculty position, they have become intimately acquainted with work conditions in academia. They've seen that successful faculty forsake all other interests. Many women are not willing to do that, especially if it means forsaking family. So if they have a choice, they don't pursue an academic faculty position.

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