Understanding the lack of women in STEM faculty

New report sheds light on why women get less faculty appointments at research institutions

women-STEM-facultyAs women entering STEM fields and later receiving their Ph.D.’s increases, a new report reveals that though women Ph.D.’s are likelier to start their careers in academia, their male peers get more of the faculty appointments at research institutions; leading to the question: “Why?”

According to a new analysis by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), “Early Academic Career Pathways in STEM: Do gender and family status matter?” gender and family may have a large effect on new graduates’ careers. The paper also notes that being married or having young children looks to be a disadvantage in securing a position at a research institution for both men and women.

The analyses were conducted using 2009 and 2010 data from the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), and included the most recent years of data available. The sample is limited to U.S. citizens and includes 27,724 respondents.

“Women of all races and ethnicities continue to compose a small number of science and engineering faculty at U.S. research universities and often do not receive the same level of recognition, career affirmation, and resources as their male colleagues,” notes the report.

Based off of this fact, the report is part of a series of briefs produced by AIR to promote research, policy and practice related to broadening the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM doctoral education and the workforce.

The brief is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

(Next page: STEM and women by the numbers)

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