Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 275
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty Appendix 3-1 Review of Literature and Research on Factors Associated with a Higher Proportion of Female Applicants This appendix examines prior research on the factors hypothesized to be associated with the proportion of female applicants for faculty positions. The focus is on departmental or institutional characteristics since this study’s survey data contain little information about the individual applicants, apart from their gender. A review of previous research included topics on departmental climate, work-life balance and family-friendly policies, geographic location, departmental prestige, and public versus private institutions. In addition, we examined the relationship between availability of women in the Ph.D. pool and the percentage of female applicants. STATUS OF WOMEN FACULTY OVERALL IN 2003 A review of previous research at the time the surveys were conducted showed that the proportion of female science and engineering (S&E) faculty at Research I (RI) institutions was rising but had yet to reach parity in reference to the proportion of S&E doctorates awarded to women. From 1979 to 2003, the percentage of female S&E assistant professors at these institutions grew from 11 percent to over 35 percent; the percentage of female S&E associate professors rose from 5 percent to 24 percent; and the percentage of female S&E full professors rose from about 2 percent to about 11 percent.1 These aggregate trends masked substantial variability across departments. Some disciplines, such as biology, had attracted many more female faculty than others, and within a specific discipline, some departments had attracted many female faculty while others still have no women among their faculty members (e.g., Ivie and Ray, 2005; Kuck et al, 2004; Nelson and Rogers, 2005). Additionally, there had been some concern that while earlier efforts beginning around 2000 had increased female representation, those efforts may had stalled out. Both the overall rate of growth in the percentage of S&E faculty who were women and the variation among departments, disciplines, and institutions may be partly attributable to the hiring process. 1 Data for 1979 are from NRC (2001a) and were calculated by taking total number of male and female faculty at Research I institutions and subtracting male and female faculty at Research I institutions who were in social and behavior sciences. Data for 2003 are also from the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) as calculated by staff, using the same definition of S&E.
OCR for page 276
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty AVAILABILITY OF WOMEN IN THE PH.D. POOL The potential applicant pool consists of those individuals who could apply for one or more positions. In practice, universities know only the number of applicants who apply for any particular position for which they are recruiting, and the actual potential candidate pool remains unknown. Typically, the number of women receiving Ph.D.s in a field is used as a proxy for the eligible pool of women.2 As noted in Chapter 2 and Appendix 2-1, the number of women receiving Ph.D.s in S&E had grown significantly over the years—both numerically and as a proportion of all those receiving doctorates in S&E. On average, over the period from 1999 to 2003, the 5-year period preceding the survey’s focus, Research I institutions awarded women 45 percent of the Ph.D.s in biology, 32 percent in chemistry, 18 percent in civil engineering, 12 percent in electrical engineering, 25 percent in mathematics, and 14 percent in physics. In 2003, 4,005 women received Ph.D.s from all doctorate-granting institutions for the six fields studied (see Appendixes 3-4 and 3-5): 2,598 Ph.D.s (45.7 percent) in biology; 647 Ph.D.s (31.8 percent) in chemistry; 125 Ph.D.s (18.7 percent) in civil engineering; 179 Ph.D.s (12.3 percent) in electrical engineering; 263 Ph.D.s (26.5 percent) in mathematics and statistics; and 193 Ph.D.s (18.0 percent) in physics. A majority of doctoral degrees are awarded by the 89 Research I institutions (see Appendix 3-6). On average, one might expect disciplines with higher proportions of female doctorates would also see higher proportions of female applicants. Thus, a reasonable expectation is women will make up a larger proportion of applicants to positions in biology and chemistry, followed by mathematics, civil engineering, physics, and electrical engineering. This seems to be the case generally for tenure-track jobs in our study (with the exception that the rank order positions of chemistry and mathematics are reversed, but it does not hold at all for tenured jobs. 2 This measure is deficient in two ways. First, the potential applicant pool includes postdocs, individuals with Ph.D.s from foreign institutions, individuals from outside academia, and individuals with current academic positions who are interested in switching to a new position (Ehrenberg, 1992). For example, in a study of physics hires in 2000, Kirby et al. (2001) found that 34 percent of new hires in doctorate-granting institutions had earned Ph.D.s outside of the United States. Likewise, in computer science (Zweben, 2005:10), for 2003-2004: “Thus, more than 75% of the faculty hires made this past year by Ph.D.-granting CS/CE [computer science/computer engineering] departments appear to have been new Ph.D.s, with the rest consisting of a combination of faculty who changed academic positions, persons joining academia from government and industry, new Ph.D.s from outside of North America and from disciplines outside of CS/CE, and non-PhD. holders (e.g., taking a teaching faculty appointment).” Second, it fails to account for the preferences of doctorates.
OCR for page 277
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty A commonly heard gender-based explanation offered to account for differences between the proportion of women in the Ph.D. pool and the proportion among applicants for Research I positions is that many women S&E doctorates may not be interested in academic positions at Research I institutions. It is the case, as noted in Chapter 2, that many women Ph.D.s were employed outside academia, and within academia, many women were employed at institutions other than Research I institutions. This was not unexpected since the 89 Research I institutions make up only a small part of higher education institutions. Fox and Stephan (2001) examined the preferences of 3,800 doctoral students in chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, microbiology, and physics. Overall, 36 percent of students had a preference for academic research, compared with 19 percent, who indicated a preference for academic teaching. In every case, the proportion of women preferring academic teaching was greater than that of men. Men strongly preferred academic research in chemistry, microbiology, and computer science, more than women did. Sears (2003) conducted a survey of 1,105 graduate students from 24 math and science programs at the University of California at Davis, with a focus on comparing students’ initial career goals when they began graduate school with their current career goals. A crucial finding was “more men than women began graduate school with plans to work in research universities (84% of men, 71% of women), and during graduate school, more women than men abandoned this goal” (p. 172). Additionally, men, more than women respondents, were attracted to research universities. Bleak et al. (2000), in a survey of recently hired faculty, found men were more likely to apply to research universities than women. Data collected by the American Chemical Society also suggested women were choosing 4-year institutions over research universities (Brennan, 1996). Why might women be less interested in positions in research universities? In general, women graduates may perceive the climate to be less welcoming, perhaps based on their perceptions of how they were treated in graduate school and their perceptions of how female faculty were treated. There was evidence that female graduate students may perceive the social or cultural context of doctoral education in S&E differently than male graduate students do. In a survey of 3,300 students in chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, and physics, conducted during 1993 to 1994, Fox (2001a) found: “Women are less likely than men to report that they are taken seriously by faculty and that they are respected by faculty” (p. 658). “In research groups, compared to men, women report that they are less comfortable speaking in group meetings” (p. 659). “Women report collaborating with fewer men graduate students and men faculty members in research and publications during the three preceding years” (p. 659).
OCR for page 278
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty “Men are more apt to have received help [from advisers] in these areas [learning to design research, write grant proposals, coauthor publications, and organize people] across types of departments” (pp. 659-660). “Women are also more likely than men to report that they view their relationship with their adviser as one of ‘student-and-faculty’ compared with ‘mentor-mentee’ or ‘colleagues,’ which may suggest greater formality and social distance for women students” (p. 670). In terms of outcomes, men “publish more papers and are more likely to report that they will receive their degrees” (p. 660). Fox (2001a:660) concluded “if women are constrained within the social networks of science—in departments or in the larger communities of science—this restricts their possibilities not simply to participate in a social circle but, more fundamentally, to do research, to publish, to be cited—to show the marks of status and performance in science (Fox 1991).” The level of socialization may affect the ability of individuals to find a position. In addition, the degree of integration into a department’s life as well as closeness with a faculty member may impact whether one learns important details about available academic positions or feels encouraged to apply. DEPARTMENTAL CLIMATE One of the reasons women might not apply to RI institutions is there is a perception that these schools have a reputation for not being female-friendly. Female students may experience a chilly climate in graduate school or may perceive that some female faculty find obstacles when pursuing their careers and, as a consequence, may opt to embark on a career elsewhere (Brennan, 1996). The committee considered a number of variables potentially reflecting the department climate for women. REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN DEPARTMENTS The committee hypothesized having a larger proportion of women in a department might be taken by female potential applicants as a signal of a “woman-friendly” department. Thus, the percentage of women applicants would be expected to be positively correlated with the percentage of women already on the faculty. However, prior research indicated this relationship may not have been linear. In their study of 93 academic positions, Yoder et al. (1989) found “departments with more than half women did not appear to be very willing to hire additional women, while departments with moderate numbers of women were. Ironically, departments with few or no women were almost as unlikely as departments numerically dominated by women to hire a woman” (p. 272). Yoder et al. explained this outcome by noting, in departments with few female faculty,
OCR for page 279
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty women had little power to influence group decision making, a version of the critical mass hypothesis. In departments with some women—between 16 and 35 percent, women could form alliances and coalitions to influence the group. When women achieved balance in a department, job hires became less about equity, and men and women were hired at equal rates. REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN ON THE SEARCH COMMITTEE Female applicants may also take the presence of women on the search committee as a sign of a more female-friendly environment. At meetings of professional societies and as a focal point of hiring efforts, the search committees may be very visible, and having a female search committee chair may lead to greater efforts to recruit female applicants. BALANCING WORK-LIFE AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY POLICIES It may be more difficult to balance family and career at a Research I institution (Sears, 2003), which may discourage women from applying for RI positions. Marital status and the presence of children are often mentioned as critical to assessing gender differences. Institutions with spousal support policies and child-care and family leave policies might be more attractive to female doctorate recipients. For example, readily available child care may make a greater positive difference in the lives of female faculty than male faculty. Leave policies are another institutional policy that may affect female and male faculty differently. Two types of leave include maternity leave, which is a standard benefit at universities, and longer, parental leave (Yoest, 2004). Some universities also have workload relief policies (typically a reduction in teaching and service responsibilities) for new parents. Spousal policies can take on a number of different forms. Wolf-Wendel et al. (2003:163) suggested six broad approaches to “help spouses and partners of academics find suitable employment.” These were relocation assistance, hiring a spouse or partner into an administrative position, hiring a spouse or partner into a non-tenure-track position, creating a shared position, creating a joint position with a nearby institution, or creating a tenure-track position for the spouse or partner. Again, spousal policies were most relevant to hiring issues. The availability of these policies may affect the probability that women will apply for particular positions. PUBLIC VERSUS PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES Public universities are often thought to do more to foster diversity than private institutions. This is because these institutions have more state oversight and may be more transparent. Insofar as this is widely believed, women may be more likely to apply for positions at public than at private research universities.
OCR for page 280
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty GEOGRAPHIC MOBILITY Marital and family status present competing demands for time on the part of a faculty member and may bring additional actors or considerations into decision making. Female applicants for academic positions may be more constrained in where they can apply. Taking into consideration children and their education and a spouse’s employment preferences and opportunities all mean women may be more likely to take other interests into account, aside from their own preferences. A special subset of the family-work problem concerns dual-career couples, also known as the two-body problem (Wolf-Wendel et al., 2003). “Nearly 38% of women chemists are married to a chemist or other scientist, according to the 1995 ACS survey…. Just shy of 21% of male chemists are married to a scientist” (Slade, 1999:61). “According to figures from the American Institute of Physics, 44% of married women in physics are married to other physicists—and another 25% to some of scientist. A remarkable 80% of female mathematicians are married to other scientists or engineers, along with a third of female chemists” (Gibbons, 1992c). It may be difficult to find two academic openings at the same department. Additionally, trying to find two jobs at a Research I institution is often perceived as more difficult than at other types of institutions. The question here is: Are women as mobile as men or are there factors constraining where a woman can work? If so, then men may be able to apply to more jobs than women, who may be clustered in applicant pools for a smaller number of jobs. Research supports this view. The general geographic mobility argument is that changing jobs for many academics is a positive (upward mobility), and the academic labor market is national so academics should be flexible to take advantage when opportunity knocks. Women are less able to do this, largely because of marriage. The careers of married women are likely to take a backseat to the careers of their husbands (Marwell et al., 1979; Rosenfeld and Jones, 1987). Rosenfeld and Jones argue that single women might also be geographically constrained. They may prefer large cities, which offer more possibilities for various types of social networks. As noted in the Appendix 2-1, Kulis and Sicotte (2002:2) suggested careers of women are more likely to be geographically constrained. Their analysis indicated female faculty are more likely than male faculty to reside in doctoral production centers, areas with large clusters of colleges, and large cities. They also found women in these areas had reduced career outcomes compared with men. “Geographic constraints appear to be more disadvantageous for women, and the career advantages associated with certain locations generally seem to help women much less than men. For example, compared to men living in the same areas and women living elsewhere, women located in high doctoral production regions are less likely to have tenure and more likely to work part time. Both men and women in large cities are more likely to be employed off the tenure track, but the women occupy these jobs far more often than the men” (p. 24). For our purposes, the
OCR for page 281
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty relevant consequence of this argument was that women are more likely to consider geography when deciding where to apply for academic jobs. Data from more recent surveys continued to note the differential importance of location for women. In its survey on chemists, the American Chemical Society (Ellis, 2001:23) reported, “in searching for work, the inability to relocate is cited much more often by women than by men as a constraint.” Among those chemists who were unemployed and actively seeking positions, “close to 37 percent of women in 2000 noted that it was because of an inability to relocate, whereas only 27.4 percent of men listed the same reason. Just over 15 percent of women, and 9.1 percent of men, said it was because of family responsibilities. The percentage of women who reported that they placed no job restrictions in their job search was 28.3 percent as opposed to 48.8 percent of men (Kreeger, 2001:14). Bleak et al. (2000:14) noted recently hired female faculty placed more emphasis than male faculty on location of the institution and employment opportunities for their spouse or partner. Sears’ (2003:175) study of graduate students in science and math programs at the University of California, Davis found “women were much more likely than men to report that location was an important factor in job selection because of the location of their spouses’ jobs or their desire to be close to family and friends.”3 An important consequence is that women may not choose to apply to as many jobs as men, even among the Research I institutions. Women, especially married women, could be less likely to apply to RI institutions in smaller towns, where there are fewer opportunities for spouses. A second important consequence of mobility constraints might be that search committees are less likely to offer women positions if the committee believes the woman will not accept the offer. PRESTIGE The most prestigious institutions tend to do least well in recruiting female faculty. “The higher up the academic-prestige ladder a university is, the fewer women it usually has in tenured faculty positions. Research released showed that while the nation is doing a good job of turning out women with research doctorates, the top 50 institutions in research spending are not doing such a good job of hiring them” (Wilson, 2004).4 The under representation of women in the most prestigious departments could result either from a lack of demand for female faculty in these departments or from a lack of supply of female candidates. Potential faculty may be likely to consider the reputation of both the department and the institution in deciding which jobs openings they will apply for. Some argue greater prestige may not always be seen as a positive attribute by female applicants. “Women just are not applying, “says 3 Ellipses omitted. 4 See also Bain and Cummings (2000).
OCR for page 282
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty Geraldine L. Richmond, who holds an endowed chair in chemistry at the University of Oregon. She argues “many top-notch science departments have ‘toxic atmospheres’ that suffocate women’s enthusiasm for their work and steer them away from research careers. But women are also rejecting elite research universities for other reasons, like the fear that they will not have enough time for their families” (Wilson, 2004). Kulis and Miller-Loessi (1992) offered a different rationale: higher prestige institutions seek to attract high-powered researchers. In the past, those would more likely be men. The authors noted women have been located outside informal prestige networks, making it harder for women to be recognized and recruited. Steinpreis et al. (1999) simulated a hiring situation by sending 238 male and female academic psychologists one of four randomly selected versions of curriculum vitae (CV) along with a questionnaire about the qualifications of the candidate. The CV was drawn from a real-life, female scientist. Some versions of the CV contained a traditional male name; other versions, a traditional female name. The authors found “both male and female academicians were significantly more likely to hire a potential male colleague than an equally qualified potential female colleague. Furthermore, both male and female participants were more likely to positively evaluate the research, teaching, and service contributions of a male job applicant than a female job applicant with an identical record” (p. 522). Several other studies reach the similar conclusion that female candidates may be at a disadvantage in both academic and nonacademic labor markets: Cole et al. (2004) randomly sent business school students’ resumes to 40 employers, who were asked to rate the resumes on a number of criteria. They found male reviewers rated male applicants as having slightly more work experiences than female applicants (not statistically significant), while female reviewers rated male applicants as possessing significantly more work experience. Studies suggest women’s professional work is discounted more so than for men. For example, a study of the outcomes of the peer-review system of the Swedish Medical Research Council for postdoctoral fellowships found the success rate for female applicants was less than half that of male applicants (Wenneras and Wold, 1997). The situation applies not just to female versus male names as triggers, but also to female versus male appearance. In the music world, very few women were playing with top orchestras in the 1970s. Then orchestras changed how the audition occurred: the musician was hidden behind a screen and the stage was carpeted. The number of women successfully auditioning rose significantly (Koretz, 1997; Goldin and Rouse, 2000). Women seem to get rated harder than men do, both by men and women. However, one study did not find a disparity. In a review of editors, reviewers, and authors regarding manuscripts submitted to JAMA in 1991, the
OCR for page 283
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty authors found that there were gender differences in how editors worked and how reviewers made recommendations, but they found final “manuscript acceptance rates did not differ across author gender and editor gender combinations” (Gilbert et al., 1992). Another study by Swim et al. (1989)—where the authors conducted a meta-analysis on studies drawing on the influential experiment conducted by Goldberg in 1968—demonstrated that women rated publications perceived to have been written by female authors less favorably than those thought to have been written by males. This bias could occur because of at least two different kinds of stereotypes about women (Cole et al., 2004). Evaluators could have descriptive stereotypes. For example, they could believe women “don’t have what it takes to succeed in competitive situations.” Alternatively, evaluators could have prescriptive stereotypes. A woman perceived as behaving in an unfeminine way to get an academic position could be negatively evaluated for her behavior. In addition to broad gender stereotypes, gender stereotypes specific to the academic world, such as a perception that women are less mobile or less committed to the profession, may affect invitations to interview. Differences in the level of socialization among male and female graduate students and postdocs may further impact an aspiring faculty member by affecting the quality of letters of reference. This may be a significant problem. Trix and Psenka (2003), for example, found recommendation letters for women for medical faculty positions were shorter, less favorable, and focused more on women’s teaching abilities than the letters for men.5 In general, perceptions regarding women, held by both men and women, may have a detrimental effect on hiring or career advancement (Valian, 1998). 5 This is not a new problem. Stake et al. (1981) found letters of recommendation were more favorable when the letter writers and the job seekers were of the same gender.