The Persistence of Male Power and Prestige in the Professions:
Report on the Professions of Law, Medicine, and Science & Engineering
Gender inequality maintains a tenacious grip on the American workplace. Post-recession, men continue to be more likely than women to retain the lion’s share of power. This holds true even within the professions requiring the most education, where some might imagine the potential for parity would be greatest. This social scientific report and set of three case studies from the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions show that, among those at the pinnacle of power, women still lag behind men.
See Our Report:
Individual Case Studies:
Media Coverage of the Report
The Report has received attention from numerous news sources, such as the Huffington Post, WBUR Radio Boston, and KPBS. The press release is available from the UCSD News Center. Find a complete listing of the coverage here.
The Decline of Men? Not So Fast! Links
Recent media reports sensationalize the gains women have made in the labor force, while exaggerating the difficulties men are facing. We have listed the writings by the loudest voices here.
Welcome to CRGP!
View our Spring 2013 newsletter for an update on our most recent activities.
Our mission is to increase the understanding of gender inequality and gender equity in the professions, in business, and in other demanding careers. We foster rigorous social scientific research that advances basic knowledge and supports the efforts of employers and policy makers to create more equitable and productive workplaces. We promote interdisciplinary conversations to integrate what is currently known about gender, work, and family and to assess future directions for exploration. We take into account that men's and women's professional opportunities are shaped by race, ethnicity, nationality and sexual identity as well as gender. We promote in-depth studies of particular professions as well as broader comparative research across different professions and societies. We also support the work of young scholars in order to contribute to the continuing vitality of gender research. For example, CRGP Graduate Student Affiliates in Sociology, History, and Art History have received funding from the UCSD Dean of Graduate Studies for their Chancellor's Interdisciplinary Collaboratories project "Gender Inequality: Ideologies and Consequences."
An important research site for understanding how gender shapes careers is science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. CRGP affiliates Mary Blair-Loy, Jeanne Ferrante, and Erin Cech have received funding from a National Science Foundation Advance PAID-Research grant to conduct a longitudinal study about how disadvantages for women, minorities, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual faculty in STEM fields accrue over time. They analyze how individual, departmental, and disciplinary factors translate into inequalities in salaries, advancement, productivity, and sense of conflict between work and family. Their project examines how individual biases, departmental networks and climate, and disciplinary culture and demography shape careers over time. The research question is how gender and racial inequality is created, reproduced, and redressed in a top-ranked, meritocratic university, in which individuals care about ensuring fairness and transparency. The researchers have already conducted a survey of academic scientists, as well as 65 in-depth interviews with faculty members. (This grant is entitled Divergent trajectories: A longitudinal study of organizational and departmental factors leading to gender and race differences in STEM faculty advancement, pay, and persistence).
Scholars and students at UCSD and beyond, employers and community members are invited to participate in Center events. Contact us to request to be added to our mailing list for news and announcements or to join as an affiliate. Learn more about our exciting programs (PDF) and how you can support our work (PDF).
Mary Blair-Loy, Founding Director
News and Events
ASA OOW Blog: Work in Progress
Work in Progress, the blog of the Organizations, Occupations, and Work section of the American Sociological Association, provides a sociological perspective on matters related to work as a complement to more mainstream accounts of the subject. The blog is written for the general public, showcasing recent sociological research in the field. Work in Progress recently featured a post with sociologists Julie Kmec, Lindsey Trimble O'Connor, and Scott Schieman, a CRGP Senior Academic Affiliate, regarding the penalties many working mothers believe they face when they adjust their work schedules after having children. Unlike the men in the sample who made similar schedule changes, these mothers report that they feel ignored and are asked to perform the least desirable tasks at their workplaces, whether they reduce or increase their work hours; the authors attribute such reactions by employers and co-workers to perceived violations of norms of "ideal workers" and of cultural expectations of mothers.
Women in STEMM: Real Representations
On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, UCSD's Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GradWISE) and women from the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) are hosting a screening of the documentary film Miss Representation, followed by a moderated discussion with women in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine.This free event, which will be held at the Cymer Conference Center in the Structural and Materials Engineering Building at UCSD, will also have a Q&A session and a networking reception. Additional details are available here.
Attrition of Women in SET Fields
The Center for Talent Innovation, founded by economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, issued a new report showing that women are 45% more likely than their male counterparts to leave their positions in science, engineering, and technology fields within one year, despite the vast majority reporting enjoyment in and devotion to their work. Almost one-third of both male and female managers indicated that a woman would not reach the highest level in their companies. Similar results are found in other countries as well. The report points to gender bias as the culprit. Read more from The Washington Post.
Ethics and Engineering Education
The "culture of disengagement" among engineering students has the been the subject of recent work by CRGP Senior Academic Affiliate Erin Cech. She conducted a survey of over 300 engineering students in 4 different university settings. Eighteen months post-graduation, students reported less concern about public welfare and social justice issues than they did as first-year students. Cech suggests that ethics considerations should be more fully integrated into STEM education to prevent such disengagement. Her results appear in both "Culture of Disengagement in Engineering Education?," in Science, Technology, & Human Values, and "Education: Embed social awareness in science curricula," in Nature.
"It's Complicated: Age, Gender, and Lifetime Discrimination Against Working Women - The U.S. and U.K. as Examples"
CRGP Senior Academic Affiliate Susan Bisom-Rapp, of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Malcolm Sargeant, of Middlesex University Business School, use a model of Lifetime Disadvantage to analyze the plight of working women and their unequal positions at the end of their careers in their co-authored paper, "It's Complicated: Age, Gender, and Lifetime Discrimination Against Working Women - The U.S. and U.K. as Examples." They consider both gender-based and incremental disadvantage factors. Current regulations in both the U.S. and U.K. fail to account for these cumulative disadvantages.