NAS Study on Gender in STEM Faculty
Another study on gender in academia has a been completed – this by the National Academy of Sciences looking at women in science, engineering, and math positions.
The report is not yet out in print, but the full pdf seems to be available for purchase (I did not attempt to purchase it, though – the print version is available to pre-order.)
A summary of the findings is available on the science page at Ars Technica. It seems to boil down to some similar conclusions to earlier reports – women are earning PhD.’s but not necessarily choosing to continue to tenure-track positions (the author of the Ars article notes the statistic that 45% of biology PhD.’s go to women, but we represent only 26% of applicants for tenure-track jobs). Women professors still average lower salaries than their male counterparts, and still do not make up representative portions of higher-ranked faculty (associate or full professors).
The report does suggest, though, that women are as likely to be awarded tenure as men. The time-to-tenure is longer, on average, which is not necessarily a bad thing – this may well mean that many women are taking advantage of more flexible tenure clocks (essentially putting off tenure review while taking a leave of absence to raise children).
But this still does leave a few questions – why do we seem to lose women in between receiving their doctorate and applying for academic positions (especially as universities become more accommodating for women faculty choosing to have children)? And why do we continue to see a low percentage of women in tenured/promoted positions, especially if we believe the statistics that there appear to be fewer gender biases in recent tenure decisions?