Archive for May 23, 2011

Where are all the women scientists? It’s not about the babies

Losing women mid-career is a huge issue in computer science, as NCWIT and the Anita Borg Institute have been reporting. It’s not all an issue of family, though.

But maybe it’s not the babies. A study of more than 3,700 female engineers carried out by Nadya Fouad and Romila Singh at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee revealed that only a quarter left engineering because of family reasons (http://bit.ly/gA79xQ). The remaining three-quarters quit their jobs or left the field entirely because they did not like the workplace culture, or were unhappy with other aspects of the job.

While blatant gender discrimination in the workplace is rare, the subtle, everyday instances of bias that women experience create a snowball effect that, over time, can be overwhelmingly off-putting.

More than half of female scientists have experienced gender bias, according to a 2010 survey by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for L’Oréal. Examples include being ignored in meetings, students calling you Mrs. instead of Dr. or Professor, receiving unwanted comments on your appearance, and hearing that you were hired not on merit, but because you’re a woman.

via Where are all the women scientists? – 26 April 2011 – New Scientist.

May 23, 2011 at 7:20 am 2 comments


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