Science, Technology, & Engineering
Science and Engineering Professions: The Status of Women and Men
The Center for Research on Gender in the Professions provides its own analysis of gender within the professions of science and engineering. This case study, co-authored by CRGP Senior Academic Affiliate Erin Cech, Graduate Fellow Laura Pecenco, and Director Mary Blair-Loy, utilizes contemporary data and historical comparisons to provide evidence for the persistence of inequality within the field today.
The Stalled Revolution
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead has sparked media uproar, with some vehement supporters and others who criticize her contribution, given her powerful position. A cover story from USA Today on Sandberg's work notes her concern with the stalling of women at the very top in the workplace, and the need for a cultural shift The article also highlights research by Catalyst, which has found that women make up 47% of the workforce but only 4% of CEO positions. It also cites sociologist Shelley Correll, Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, regarding the "stalled revolution" that began in the mid-1990s.
A Step Back for Flexible Work Arrangements
In recent years, many companies have slowly integrated flexible work arrangment policies; some even rely on telecommuting options for the majority of their workers, as cited by NPR. However, Yahoo has announced that it is moving in the opposite direction. In a video from Fortune, CEO Marissa Mayer describes her job as "fun" and having a baby as "easy." Mayer claims that teams must be physically present together to make important decisions. Lisa Belkin provides a critique of Mayer's decision in a Huffington Post article, citing research that demonstrates the numerous beneficial effects of flexible work arrangements to productivity.
Underrepresentation of Women in National Academy of Engineering
Of the 69 new members of the National Academy of Engineering, who are honored for lifetime achievements in their specific fields of engineering, only 5 are women (7%). WIAReport provides more information in their article.
Science Faculty Exhibit Gender Bias
A report released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explains findings from a double-blind study testing whether science faculty favor male students. Identical job applications for a laboratory manager position, randomly assigned female or male names, were created and submitted to science faculty in research universities. Both male and female faculty deemed the male applicants more competent, hireable, and deserving of a higher salary and more career mentoring than the female applicants. They found that subtle bias against women was correlated with less support for female students, but was unrelated to reactions to male students. Their findings suggest that working to decrease faculty gender bias could increase the presence of women in science. This research has also been covered in a New York Times article.
Stereotype Threat and Female Scientists
To understand why women are more likely than men to leave their jobs as scientists, psychologists Toni Schamder, of the University of British Columbia, and Matthias Mehl, of the University of Arizona, used electronic recording devices to unobtrusively record random soundbytes of participants' everyday workplace conversations. As reported at NPR, the researchers found that when male and female scientists speak with each other about science, the women report feeling more disengaged with their work. They believe this is caused by stereotype threat, a concept developed by psychologist Claude Steele, which explains how a self-fulfilling prophecy can develop when someone is reminded of a negative stereotype about themselves. While in conversation, the female scientists may be worrying about the stereotype held by their male colleague; such worrying can be distracting and lead to a higher likelihood of sounding incompetent.
NSF Report: Gender and Race of Science Faculty
NSF Proposing Allowances for Work-Family Balance
According to WIAReport, the National Science Foundation has proposed a new rule which allows men and women to suspend their research grants for a period of up to one year to deal with various family matters, such as the birth of a child or the need to care for an elderly parent.
ESA Report on Women in STEM Occupations
Lack of Women Faculty in the Sciences
Importance of Underrepresented Minorities in Science
Informal Codes Hinder Women’s Careers in Construction Companies
Family Pressures Lead to Leaky Pipelines
Gender and Immigrant Status of Biotechnology Firm Founders
Jim McQuaid, CRGP Affiliate Laurel Smith-Doerr, and Daniel J. Monti Jr. analyze the roles of women and immigrants as founders of biotechnology firms in their article "Expanding Entrepreneurship: Female and Foreign-Born Founders of New England Biotechnology Firms," in American Behavioral Scientist. Using a survey of 261 biotech firms in Massachusetts and New England, they find that foreign-born founders are well represented while women founders are underrepresented.
Gender Differences in Academic Scientists' Participation in Commercial Science
News and Events
Gender in STEMM Professions Workshop
UCSD GradWISE presents the Gender in STEMM Professions Workshop, which will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2013, from 5:30-7:30 pm in Bonner Hall Room 2130 at UCSD. CRGP Director Mary Blair-Loy will begin the event by delivering the keynote speech, which will provide a framework of the obstacles women in STEMM face as they attempt to advance and become leaders in their fields. This lecture will be immediately followed by interactive tasks with participants to train leadership skills for navigating the aforementioned obstacles, facilitated by a member of the UCSD Center for Communication and Leadership. Register for this free event here; please see the flyer for additional details.
Funding for the Institute of Social Research, Oslo
The Institute for Social Research, located in Oslo, Norway, where CRGP Senior Academic Affiliate Sigtona Halrynjo serves as Senior Research Fellow, has received funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion to become the Norwegian National Center for Research on Gender Equality.
Women and the Gun Control Debate
CRGP Senior Academic Affiliate Ronnee Schreiber, author of Righting Feminism: Conservative Women and American Politics, has analyzed the positions of women across the political spectrum regarding gun control. In a KPBS interview, she discussed the comments made by Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and conservative Independent Women's Forum activist Gayle Trotter. Although the two women differ on their political stances, they both utilize motherhood as the frame for their arguments.
New Research by Erin Cech and Mary Blair-Loy
A new issue of Gender News, published by Stanford's Clayman Institute for Gender Research, cites CRGP Affiliate Erin Cech and Director Mary Blair-Loy's new research about high-powered women's beliefs in the glass ceiling. Cech and Blair-Loy find that women recognize glass ceilings when they are exposed to work-family balance issues (such as working long hours, being the family breadwinner, and having very young children) themselves. Women tend to not recognize glass celings when they have advanced business degrees, are married, and hold the highest positions in their organization. Whether organizational leaders believe success is affected by personal achievement or organizational factors may impact whether they implement policies in their workplaces designed to help employees overcome structural barriers.
Mary Blair-Loy's Book One of Most Cited Works in Sociology
Competing Devotions (2003), by CRGP Founding Director Mary Blair-Loy, is listed as one of the top 102 works cited in sociology between the years of 2008-2012. The list, in full here, was created by UNC Assistant Professor Neal Caren.