The prospects for women who are scientists and engineers at major research universities have improved, although women continue to face inequalities in salary and access to some other resources, reports the New York Times. In recent years "men and women faculty in science, engineering, and mathematics have enjoyed comparable opportunities," a panel of the National Research Council concludes in a new report. It found that women who applied for university jobs, and then promotion and tenure, were at least as likely to succeed as men. But compared with their numbers among new Ph.D.s, women are still underrepresented in applicant pools, a puzzle that offers an opportunity for further research, the panel said. It said one factor outshined all others in encouraging women to apply for jobs: having women on the committees appointed to fill them. And in another report this week, researchers at the University of Wisconsin who reviewed a variety of studies concluded that the achievement gap between boys and girls in mathematics performance had narrowed to the vanishing point. Although girls are still underrepresented in the ranks of young math prodigies, they said, that gap is narrowing–a development that undermines claims that a greater prevalence of profound mathematical talent in boys is biologically determined…

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