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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers 5 Sector of Employment and Work Activity Diverse Careers within Science and Engineering …science is no longer mainly an academic activity carried on in universities. Industry will soon be the largest single employer of scientists. —Cotgrove and Box, Science, Industry and Society, 19701 INTRODUCTION When viewed within the context of the entire American labor force, scientists and engineers appear as a homogenous and elite group of workers. Studies of social stratification in the larger society, such as Blau and Duncan’s classic The American Occupational Structure (1967), place all scientists and engineers within the undifferentiated class of professional workers. In popular culture, the common stereotype of a scientist is a professor, white and male, writing at the blackboard in a university with ivy covered buildings. However, as noted by Zuckerman (1970), this seemingly uniform group of scientists is itself highly stratified. Studies of stratification in science focus on the many differences in position and prestige among scientists and engineers. Most studies of stratification in science focus on the academic career. For example, Cole and Cole’s (1973:43) classic study Social Stratification in Science only briefly mentions nonacademic employment. Studies of stratification in academic science have generated a huge body of research, 1 Cotgrove and Box 1970.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers which we consider in Chapter 6. The few studies that give greater attention to scientists and engineers in other sectors, such as Kornhauser (1962), Marcson (1960), and Pelz and Andrews (1966), often focus on the conflicts between science as a profession and the contrasting goals of nonacademic employers. There are only a few studies considering factors that affect sector in which a scientist works (Long and McGinnis 1981; Reskin 1979). Yet, sector of employment is a fundamental dimension of the scientific career that affects work experience, opportunities, employment security, and prestige. In the current climate of science, it is extremely important to consider scientists in nonacademic sectors since the kinds of jobs held by scientists and engineers are changing (Kuh 1996; Tobias, Chubin, and Aylesworth 1995). The foremost indicator of this change is the transition from a primarily academic S&E workforce to one that is more evenly divided between higher education and industry. Changes within academia that have limited the number of jobs occurred simultaneously with the growing presence of women in the academic labor market. The employment shift from education to industry is the result of several economic and political transformations since 1970. While the number of doctoral scientists and engineers in the labor force has continued to grow, the quality of employment deteriorated for those obtaining academic jobs. Between 1976 and 1986, real wages of faculty declined by 4 percent (Touchton and Davis 1991). Compared to other professions requiring postgraduate education in the 1980s, academic salaries fell behind (Magner 1996a). Hackett (1990) and others report growth in the number of off-track positions (e.g., part-time, non-tenure track, postdoctoral positions) in response to reduced opportunities for tenure-track jobs. Academic researchers found it increasingly difficult to secure adequate federal research support while academic employers increased pressure on faculty to obtain externally funded grants (Hackett 1990). During the same period, industry surpassed the federal government as the largest source of research and development (R&D) funding (NSB 1993). Even while corporate downsizing and the defense conversion to civilian R&D displaced science and engineering workers and contributed to their higher unemployment rates, the overall demand in industry for scientists has increased since 1973, as documented below. This chapter begins by examining differences in the distribution of men and women into the largest sectors of employment: academia, industry, government, and private nonprofit organizations. It is also important to understand the type of employment within sectors. Since the rewards, prestige, and meaning of work activities differ across sectors, we then consider gender differences in work activities within each sector.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Before proceeding to these tasks, and at the risk of repetition, we remind readers that the analyses in this chapter are necessarily restricted to scientists and engineers in the full time labor force. While this excludes only about 10 percent of the male Ph.D.s, over 30 percent of the female Ph.D.s are excluded in 1973, decreasing to 19 percent in 1995. Thus, a substantially greater proportion of highly trained women than men fail to enter the full-time scientific labor force. See Chapter 4 for further details. SECTOR OF EMPLOYMENT The SDR asks each respondent to provide a brief description of their job (e.g., college professor in electrical engineering) and to choose from a detailed list of job codes and a shorter list of types of employers (e.g., U.S. government, private for-profit company). This information is used to classify scientists and engineers into a sector of employment. While these definitions of sector change across years of the SDR, we were able to construct four major sectors of employment that are consistently defined over all years, plus a small residual category. Academic. The academic sector includes colleges and universities that award at least a two-year degree. While this classification blurs the many distinctions among this diverse group of academic institutions, those differences are the focus of Chapter 6. Educational institutions that do not award degrees or award degrees below a two-year associate degree (e.g., a high school diploma) are not included in our definition of the academic sector. Industry. The industrial sector includes private for-profit companies and businesses. It also includes scientists and engineers who are self-employed. In the following pages, we will refer to this sector simply as “industry,” rather than the more cumbersome title of “business and industry.” Government. Within the government sector most scientists are employed by the federal government (78 percent of total), but this sector also includes those with scientific and engineering occupations in state and local governments. Private Nonprofit (PNP). This sector includes nonprofit, taxexempt, or charitable organizations, including hospitals. Other. A small residual category includes a variety of other organizational contexts, with the largest single employer being educational institutions below the level of a two-year college, primarily teaching at levels K through 12.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers The Academic/Industrial Shift The most dramatic change in sector of employment is the convergence in size of the industrial and academic sectors as employers of scientists and engineers. From 1973 to 1995 the percent of the full time doctoral labor force employed in academia decreased steadily from 57 percent to 46 percent, with a corresponding 11 point increase from 24 percent to 35 percent in the industrial sector. As shown in Figure 5–1, women (marked by circles) were more likely than men (marked by triangles) to work in academia (black markers) than in industry (gray markers). During this period of growth in industry relative to academia, the employment patterns for men and women converged. In the academic sector, the 12 point greater representation of women than men in 1973 declined to 6 points in 1995. In industry, the 18 point “excess” of men in 1973 dropped to 11 points in 1995. Overall, the growth in industrial science and engineering in the 1970s (Cotgrove and Box 1970) has continued to the present. Table 5–1 shows that women are a smaller minority of scientists and engineers employed in industry than they are in any other employment sector, but that their growth in industry has exceeded that of men in the past 20 years. One explanation for women’s underrepresentation in industry is their perception that the working conditions there are inhospitable. This is consistent with Preston’s (1993) finding that the attrition rate FIGURE 5–1 Employment of full-time scientists and engineers in the academic and industrial sectors, by year of survey and gender.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers TABLE 5–1 Percent Employed in each Sector, by Gender and Year of Survey Men Women 1973 1979 1989 1995 1973 1979 1989 1995 University 56.0 52.2 48.7 45.0 67.8 61.4 54.0 51.4 Industry 25.6 28.0 33.9 37.3 7.3 12.6 23.2 26.2 Government 11.4 10.8 9.7 10.0 9.9 8.6 8.1 10.0 PNP/Hospitals 5.3 6.4 5.5 4.4 9.6 11.4 10.2 6.3 Other 1.7 2.6 2.3 3.0 5.4 5.9 4.5 6.1 Difference: Men—Women 1973 1979 1989 1995 University –11.8 –9.2 –5.3 –6.4 Industry 18.3 15.4 10.7 11.1 Government 1.5 2.2 1.6 0.3 PNP/Hospitals –4.3 –5.0 –4.7 –1.9 Other –3.7 –3.4 –2.3 –3.0 NOTE: See Appendix Table C-1 for further details. in industry for female scientists is double the rate for men and higher than that for women in other sectors. In a report of the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission (1996), conference participants reported that they experienced many of the same barriers that hamper all professional women from gaining access to corporate America: recruitment and hiring practices, sexual harassment, different standards for judging women’s work, inequitable job assignments, limited promotions, and lower salaries. The table also shows that government employs roughly 10 percent of the full-time doctoral labor force in science and engineering, with relatively small gender differences. Until 1995, women were roughly 5 percentage points more likely to be working in the PNP sector. Finally, women are more likely to be employed in the residual, “other” category. Their greater employment here is largely the result of their work in educational institutions at levels below two-year degree programs, primarily as K through 12 teachers in public schools. Field Differences in Sector of Employment To understand more fully the gender differences shown in Table 5–1, it is necessary to consider field differences in sector of employment and
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers the differential growth among sectors since 1973. Figure 5–2 (pages 108 and 109) provides two views of the relative size of each sector by field since 1973. Panel A highlights the substantial differences across fields in sector of employment. By comparing the set of bars from 1973 to those for 1995, we see that field differences have gradually decreased. In 1973, 39 percent of the engineers were employed in academia compared to a high of 82 percent of mathematicians, with the physical, life, and social/ behavioral sciences falling between these extremes. Engineers and physical scientists have much greater employment in industry, with a much smaller but growing industrial presence in other fields. By 1995 field differences had been reduced, with all fields showing less employment in the academic sector and more in industry. Panel B presents the same data, but highlights changes within fields that explain the greater similarities across fields by 1995. While nonacademic employment grew in each field (shown by the decreasing size of the dark gray bars at the bottom), this occurred at quite different rates across fields. Engineering and the physical sciences experienced small changes in academic employment, 6 and 5 points respectively. Mathematics and the social/behavioral sciences experienced the largest changes, with decreases in academic employment of 21 percentage points. In each field, the decline in academic employment corresponds very closely to the growth of employment in industry. There has been substantial convergence in the distribution of male and female scientists and engineers among sectors of employment, as shown in Table 5–2 (page 110). The table presents differences between the percent of men and the percent of women working in each sector by the year of the survey. Among all fields combined, the greatest convergence occurred in academia and industry. Still, in 1995 the remaining differences were largest in these sectors. Among broad fields, the greatest gender differences and smallest changes over time occurred in engineering. By 1995, 10 percentage points more female than male engineers were working in colleges and universities, with 11 percentage points more men in industry. There is also a large over-representation of men among mathematicians working in industry. While there were large gender differences in the academic and industrial sectors for the physical sciences in 1973, these were reduced to only 2 points by 1995. The life sciences had the smallest differences in 1973, but there has been little change since then, leaving 6 points more women in academic positions and 8 points fewer in industry. Finally, differences in the social and behavioral sciences were all less than 2.1 points by 1995. Given the substantial changes in the relative size of employment sectors from 1973 to 1995, it is important to consider the degree to which the changes are due to different hiring patterns for new cohorts as opposed to mobility across sectors by the same scientists over time. Figure 5–3 traces
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers the sector of employment for scientists with degrees from the 1970s at three points in time: 1979, 1989, and 1995. The first three pairs of bars in Panel A show the percent of these cohorts employed in the academic sector; Panel B shows comparable information for the industrial sector. By way of comparison, the figure also includes Ph.D.s from the 1980s as of 1995 (shown on the far right of each panel using gray bars). These results, while limited to a single cohort over time, suggest that there has been mobility across sectors over time and also changes in the pattern of hiring of new cohorts. The overall shift in sector of employment observed for all full-time scientists and engineers also occurred to the 1970 cohort as they aged. Over time, smaller proportions of both men and women in this cohort were employed in academia. While there are some differences between the 1970 cohort and the 1980 cohort, they are quite similar. Overall, it appears that the shifting size of sectors involved both differences in the initial hiring of new scientists and changes in sector of employment over time, with gender differences being reduced through both of these processes. Summary of Sector of Employment2 Since 1973 there have been substantial changes in the relative size of the sectors that employ doctoral scientists and engineers. Accompanying this change has been a convergence in the distribution of men and women among sectors. Still, women remain more likely to be in academia (6 points overall) and less likely to be in industry (11 points overall). While a great deal of the difference in the proportion of men and women working in academia is due to gender differences in the field of the doctorate, the greater likelihood of men working in industry is larger still within some fields. To illustrate both the progress and the remaining challenges, consider the case of female engineers in industry. From 1973 to 1995 the number of doctoral women increased by a factor of 56 from 31 to 1,746, while the number of male engineers in industry increased by less than a factor of 3. However, the percent of doctorate engineers in industry who are women remains at less than 5 percent as a consequence of the small number of female engineers in the full-time labor force (in large part due to the small number of women with Ph.D.s in engineering). In 1995 in all fields except the social and behavioral sciences, the representation of women in industry lags behind that in academia and generally behind 2 These figures are based on the weighted estimates from the 1973, 1979, 1989, and 1995 SDR. See Appendix Table C-4 for full data.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Panel A: Sector of employment organized by field within year of survey.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Panel B: Sector of emplyment organize by year of survey within field FIGURE 5–2 Sector of employment of full-time scientists and engineers, by field and year of survey.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers TABLE 5–2 Difference Between the Percent of Women and the Percent of Men Employed in Each Sector, by Year of Survey and Field Year of Survey 1973 1979 1989 1995 Combined Fields Academia — 9.2 5.3 6.4 Industry — –15.4 –10.7 –11.1 Government — –2.2 –1.6 –0.3 PNP/Hospitals — 5.0 4.7 1.9 Other — 3.4 2.3 3.0 Engineering Academia 8.4 7.1 5.2 10.0 Industry –10.5 –5.1 –7.4 –10.8 Government –1.2 –0.6 0.8 1.3 PNP/Hospitals 1.7 –1.2 0.8 –0.7 Other 1.5 –0.2 0.6 0.2 Mathematics Academia 6.3 0.6 1.6 –0.3 Industry –6.7 –2.5 –2.4 –7.7 Government –1.8 –2.5 –0.7 1.6 PNP/Hospitals –0.2 2.0 –0.1 0.2 Other 2.4 2.4 1.5 6.2 Physical Sciences Academia 18.7 7.9 0.9 2.2 Industry –22.2 –13.3 –5.5 –2.2 Government –1.7 –0.9 0.2 –2.1 PNP/Hospitals 1.9 2.4 1.4 –1.0 Other 3.2 4.0 3.0 3.1 Life Sciences Academia 4.8 5.8 5.8 6.3 Industry –7.5 –7.5 –5.7 –7.5 Government –3.9 –4.3 –3.5 –1.9 PNP/Hospitals 3.7 3.8 2.7 1.1 Other 3.0 2.2 0.8 1.9 Social/Behavioral Academia –4.5 –2.5 –4.7 –2.1 Industry –3.5 –1.1 1.7 0.4 Government 0.0 –2.0 –2.5 –2.1 PNP/Hospitals 3.8 3.1 4.1 1.9 Other 4.1 2.6 1.3 1.9 NOTES: Positive values indicate a greater percent of women are in a given sector. See Appendix Table C-3 for further details.—indicates too few women to compute difference. that in government. While this may partially reflect the specific subfields in which women are working, the report of the Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE 1994) notes that the rate of attrition of female scientists and engineers in industry is more than double that of men and much larger than in other sectors. Clearly, retention, not just training, is essential for increasing the number of women in industry.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers FIGURE 5–3 Percent employed in academia and industry, by gender, cohort, and year of survey. NOTE: The 1970 cohort is traced for years 1979 (young cohort), 1989 (middle cohort), and 1995 (older cohort). For comparison, the middle cohort in 1995 is shown at the right.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers PRIMARY WORK ACTIVITY Even if male and female scientists and engineers were identical in their distribution among sectors of employment, their career experiences would not necessarily be the same. Within each sector there is substantial variation in the types of jobs held by scientists and engineers. A scientist’s work activity not only affects the type of work being done, but also the receipt of material and symbolic rewards. In this section we examine gender differences in the type of jobs held within the three largest sectors: academia, industry, and government. There are not enough women in the smaller, private nonprofit sector to allow us to examine their work activity. The SDR uses job descriptions (e.g., college professor in electrical engineering) and a respondent’s selection from a detailed list of job codes to determine primary work activity. We consider six major categories: Teaching. Teaching includes faculty in research universities. Faculty in tenure track positions generally indicate teaching as their primary work activity. Basic Research. Basic research is study directed toward gaining scientific knowledge primarily for its own sake. Applied Research. Applied research involves study directed toward gaining scientific knowledge to meet a recognized need. Production. Production work includes the design of equipment or processes, consulting, production, quality control, and sales. Management. Management is employment that involves the supervision of other employees. Professional Services. Professional services include activities such as health care, financial services, legal services, clinical diagnosis, and psychotherapy. While professional services is a relatively small category, it is retained since there are disproportionately more women with this work activity. These categories account for all but 6 percent of those employed in education, industry, and government. Men and women are equally likely to be in the excluded category, which includes computer support, those who provided incomplete information on the survey, and a myriad of unclassified activities. For further details on the distribution into other categories, see Appendix Table C-2. Since the meaning and prevalence of work activities varies by sector, we proceed by considering gender differences in work activity within each sector separately.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Work Activity in Academia Within academia, teaching has traditionally been the primary work activity of doctoral scientists and engineers. This is changing. As shown in Figure 5–4, from 1973 to 1995 there was a 19 percentage point decrease in those who report teaching as their primary work. By 1989 less than half of the doctoral scientists and engineers reported teaching as their primary activity. Most of this change is accounted for by the 17 point increase in those with research as the main activity. As shown in Table 5–3, which presents work activities by field for 1995 (see Table C-5 for information on other years), there are substantial differences among fields in work activity. Teaching is most common in mathematics (where there is a heavy load of service courses) and the social/behavioral sciences where there is less research funding. While both fields have roughly the same propor- FIGURE 5–4 Percent of academic scientists in each work activity, by year of survey. TABLE 5–3 Primary Work Activity in Academia by Field, 1995 Engineering Mathematics Physical Sciences Life Sciences Social/ Behavioral Combined Fields Teaching 48.2 65.4 39.6 29.0 56.7 44.1 Basic Research 11.8 18.4 33.0 37.3 12.9 24.9 Applied Research 30.0 8.9 17.6 18.9 14.3 17.8 Management 8.7 5.9 8.0 7.8 9.3 8.2 Professional Services 1.3 1.5 1.9 7.1 6.8 5.0 N 24,210 16,523 35,409 68,936 59,749 204,827 NOTE: (See Appendix Table C-5 for details.)
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers tion in research, the social/behavioral sciences have nearly 7 percent working in professional services, a level exceeded only by the life sciences. Teaching is least common in the life sciences where less than one-third teach, while 56 percent are in research. Somewhat larger percentages of academic physical scientists and engineers indicate teaching as their primary work activity. Since there has been differential growth among fields since 1973 (see Chapter 4), a possible explanation for the decline in teaching as the primary work activity is that fields with less teaching have grown more rapidly. However, teaching has become less common in all fields, although the greatest decline has been in fields where funded research is most common. The following decreases in the percent indicating teaching as their primary work have occurred between 1973 and 1995:20 percent in engineering, 12 percent in mathematics, 23 percent in the physical sciences, 20 percent in the life sciences, and 15 percent in the social and behavioral sciences. Table 5–4 presents the difference between the percent of full-time male academics in each work activity and the corresponding percent of women, broken down by field and year. The changing patterns of gender differences in primary work activity within academia are complex, with no clear trend over time. In 1995 across all fields, the largest gender difference in work activity is the 3 point greater representation of women in professional services. As shown in the breakdown by field, this difference is due to the greater proportion of women in the social and behavioral sciences who are employed in clinical psychology. While the percent of men in teaching, research, and administration across fields is very similar (within about 1 percentage point), larger differences are seen within fields. While larger gender differences were observed in engineering in 1989, there was a substantial convergence from 1989 to 1995. Keep in mind, however, that there were only 677 women in 1989 and 1,542 in 1995. In the social and behavioral sciences, the greater proportion of men teaching in recent years reflects the increasing proportion of women in professional services. This may reflect one of two possibilities: either women prefer work in professional services or men are favored in the allocation of non-service jobs when these become scarce. In contrast, within the physical and life sciences women have become less likely than men to teach, and less likely to do research, reversing long term trends. This reversal coincides with increased pressure on research funding in these fields. The broad classifications of work activity that we are using ignore many critical distinctions among positions in academia. For example, both an endowed professorship at an elite university and an off-track instructorship at a community college are classified as “teaching.” These and other important distinctions are the focus of Chapter 6.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers TABLE 5–4 Difference in the Percent of Men and the Percent of Women in Academic Work Activities, by Year and Field Year of Survey Work Activity 1973 1979 1989 1995 Combined Fields Teaching –0.5 0.4 1.4 1.1 Research –1.4 –2.9 –1.1 0.8 Administration 3.3 3.4 1.4 0.8 Professional Services –1.4 –0.9 –1.7 –2.7 Engineering Teaching — — 3.6 –0.8 Research — — –14.9 1.8 Administration — — 11.5 –1.9 Professional Services — — –0.1 0.9 Mathematics Teaching — –4.9 –8.3 0.5 Research — –1.4 6.8 –4.9 Administration — 6.4 1.4 2.8 Professional Services — –0.1 0.1 1.6 Physical Sciences Teaching 3.3 5.7 2.7 –6.3 Research –4.7 –9.8 –4.4 3.5 Administration 2.9 4.6 2.1 2.9 Professional Services –1.4 –0.5 –0.4 –0.2 Life Sciences Teaching 0.3 –2.2 –2.2 –4.1 Research –4.9 –2.8 –0.3 1.5 Administration 4.4 3.8 1.7 1.7 Professional Services 0.2 1.2 0.8 0.9 Social/Behavioral Sciences Teaching –3.7 3.7 4.9 6.3 Research 2.8 –4.0 –3.1 –1.5 Administration 3.1 1.6 0.9 –0.1 Professional Services –2.2 –1.4 –2.6 –4.7 NOTE: Positive values indicate that proportionately more men are in that activity. —indicates too few women to compute percentages. Work Activity in Industry Since 1973 the largest change in work activity in industry is the 23 point decrease in the percent who report management as the primary work activity, as shown in Figure 5–5. This decline is made up for with a 10 point increase in those reporting professional service and a 7 point increase in those in production work. The decline in administration occurred in all fields (details in Appendix Table C-6). With the exception of the social and behavioral sciences, this decrease in administration and management corresponds to increases in applied research and production. There are, however, several notable differences among fields in primary work activity, as shown in Table 5–5 for 1995 (for data on other years see Appendix Table C-6). As would be expected, engineering stands out
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers FIGURE 5–5 Percent of scientists in industry in each work activity, by year of survey. NOTE: Teaching, which accounts for less than 0.5 percent of the cases, has been excluded. TABLE 5–5 Primary Work Activity in Industry, by Field in 1995 Engineering Mathematics Physical Sciences Life Sciences Social/ Behavioral Combined Fields Basic Research 1.4 4.8 4.3 5.2 0.5 3.0 Applied Research 25.9 36.6 38.4 35.7 12.3 29.0 Production 45.7 32.0 31.6 23.7 12.0 29.5 Management 21.6 19.1 18.8 17.2 9.0 17.1 Professional Services 5.1 6.8 6.5 17.2 65.1 20.7 Total % 99.6 99.4 99.7 99.1 98.9 99.3 N 36,519 4,827 39,228 30,272 29,185 140,031 NOTE: See Appendix Table C-6 for details. Percentages do not add to 100 since teaching has been excluded. with a large proportion hired for production work, with much smaller percentages in production in the life and social/behavioral sciences. The social/behavioral sciences stand out with nearly two-thirds working in professional services, reflecting the large and increasing number of social scientists in clinical positions. There are large gender differences in primary work activity when we consider all fields combined, as shown in Table 5–6. In large part these overall differences are due to gender differences in field of employment. For example, while women in all fields combined are 24 percentage points
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers TABLE 5–6 Difference in the Percent of Men and the Percent of Women in Industrial Work Activities, by Year and Field Year of Survey 1973 1979 1989 1995 Combined Fields Basic Research –9.8 –2.5 –0.6 0.3 Applied Research –0.6 0.6 4.6 3.1 Production 7.4 12.6 11.5 12.4 Management 19.4 16.6 8.7 8.5 Professional Services –16.1 –27.3 –24.3 –23.5 Engineering Basic Research — — –2.8 0.2 Applied Research — — –8.9 –7.4 Production — — 6.7 5.6 Management — — 4.3 4.8 Professional Services — — 0.5 –3.5 Physical Sciences Basic Research — –6.7 –2.6 1.7 Applied Research — –5.4 –8.7 –10.5 Production — 4.6 3.7 1.2 Management — 9.8 8.1 9.9 Professional Services — –2.2 –0.5 –1.9 Life Sciences Basic Research — –10.1 –2.7 –1.7 Applied Research — –6.9 –3.6 –1.5 Production — 12.0 3.2 0.7 Management — 9.5 4.2 4.1 Professional Services — –4.9 –0.7 –1.4 Social and Behavioral Sciences Basic Research — 0.5 –0.3 –0.2 Applied Research — 5.7 –0.1 5.7 Production — 12.3 11.4 5.3 Management — 10.4 4.4 3.8 Professional Services — –28.5 –15.9 –13.4 NOTE: Positive values indicate that proportionately more men are in that activity. —indicates too few women to compute percentages. There were too few women in mathematics to present results. more likely to be employed in professional services, 10 points of this “excess” are due to more women being in the social and behavioral sciences where professional services is more common. Within fields, there are several general trends. First, gender differences are decreasing. Second, female scientists are more likely to be in professional services, regardless of field, although this difference has decreased over time. Third, the largest gender differences are seen in engineering and in the physical sciences where women are more likely to be in applied research.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Finally, in all fields and years men are more likely to be in management. Table 5–6 shows that there has been some progress in the percent of women in management in the social/behavioral and life sciences, but that there has been little progress in engineering or the physical sciences. The lack of women in management positions has important implications for the full integration of women into the industry. In a report on female engineers in industry, Mattis and Allyn (1999) report that the lack of women in leadership positions is a key barrier to the recruitment and retention of women. Women in leadership positions serve as role models and mentors, provide critical channels of communication for understanding organizational politics, and establish technical credibility. Since the representation of women in industry has increased rapidly in recent years, female industrial scientists will be on average younger than men. It is possible that the lower participation of women in management is due to their being younger and hence less likely to be in management. To examine this possibility, Figure 5–6 plots gender differences in the percent in management by years since the Ph.D. The dark line with circles presents results for 1989, while the gray line with squares presents the more recent data from 1995. Over the career, gender differences grow substantially as scientists age. The only major change between 1989 and 1995 occurred during the first five years of the career. In 1995, there were FIGURE 5–6 Difference in the percent of men and the percent of women with management positions in industry, by years since Ph.D. and year of survey. NOTE: Years in which the estimated number of women in industry was less than 500 have been excluded.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers no gender differences, while in 1989 women were more likely to have management positions. Given their young professional age, it is likely that these positions are at the lowest levels of management. Overall, woman scientists and engineers have been and continue to be underrepresented in positions of management. Work Activity in Government In several key respects the changes since 1973 in the primary work activity for scientists and engineers in government are similar to those occurring in industry. First, while basic research is more common in government than industry, there has been a steady decline in this activity since 1973. Second, there is a substantial decrease in the proportion of scientists who are in management. And, professional services grew substantially between 1989 and 1995. There are, however, some basic differences between government and industry. As mentioned earlier, basic research is more common in government, while production jobs are relatively rare. With these differences taken into account, field differences among those in government (see Figure 5–7 and Table 5–7) are very much as would be expected given our findings for industry. The major exception is that while social and behavioral scientists rarely hold positions of management in industry, they hold these positions in government at rates similar to those in other fields. Table 5–8 lists differences in the percent of men and women in government with different work activities. As in industry, women are more FIGURE 5–7 Percent of scientists in government in each work activity, by year of survey.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers TABLE 5–7 Primary Work Activity in Government, by Field in 1995 Engineering Mathematics Physical Sciences Life Sciences Social/ Behavioral Combined Fields Basic Research 8.3 15.5 21.2 23.3 3.6 14.5 Applied Research 46.4 41.4 43.2 37.1 23.0 35.0 Production 12.3 14.0 8.5 6.0 7.4 7.9 Management 27.5 23.2 21.8 22.1 23.0 23.0 Professional Services 5.5 5.9 4.9 11.0 42.3 19.2 Total % 99.9 100.0 99.6 99.5 99.3 99.5 N 4,787 859 8,108 13,279 12,980 40,013 NOTE: See Appendix Table C-6 for details. TABLE 5–8 Difference in the Percent of Men and the Percent of Women in Governmental Work Activities, by Year and Field Year of Survey 1973 1979 1989 1995 All fields Basic Research –7.5 –4.7 –2.4 0.8 Applied Research 8.5 9.8 5.8 9.1 Production 2.0 –3.1 0.9 2.3 Management 11.6 3.2 –0.2 2.2 Professional Services –13.7 –5.6 –4.8 –14.5 Physical Sciences Basic Research — — –8.9 –16.9 Applied Research — — 4.1 –4.7 Production — — –3.3 4.7 Management — — 8.6 12.2 Professional Services — — –0.9 4.3 Life Sciences Basic Research –22.4 –14.4 –6.8 0.8 Applied Research 9.9 13.4 8.8 8.4 Production –1.2 –5.6 –2.2 –3.1 Management 13.5 9.9 1.1 –0.2 Professional Services 0.7 –1.6 –0.3 –6.4 Social/Behavioral Sciences Basic Research 0.4 –1.4 –1.0 0.8 Applied Research 4.5 4.3 0.1 1.8 Production 1.5 –2.7 0.3 5.0 Management 18.0 1.4 –0.1 3.1 Professional Services –21.8 –2.7 –3.0 –10.9 NOTE: Positive values indicate that proportionately more men are in that activity. —indicates too few women to compute percentages. There were too few women in engineering and mathematics to present results. The category teaching was excluded.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers likely to be in professional services, both across fields and within the social/behavioral and life sciences where professional service is most likely. With respect to management, gender differences are smaller, with the exception of the physical sciences where men are 12 points more likely to hold these positions. In the social/behavioral and life sciences, gender differences in management have decreased substantially since 1973. SUMMARY Since 1973 there are increasing similarities between men and women in the sector in which they work and the type of work activity that they pursue. Still, notable differences persist which are summarized in Figure 5–8 using data for 1995. In this figure the height of each pyramid corresponds to the percent of scientists and engineers in the full-time labor force with a given combination of sector and work activity. Several key gender differences are clearly seen. First, women are nearly 5 points more likely to be teaching in academia, shown by the spike in the back, left corner. Second, women are more likely in all sectors to be in professional services, shown by the spikes in the right column in each panel. Last, women are less likely to be managers in industry.
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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers FIGURE 5–8 Combinations of sector and primary work activity in 1995, by gender. NOTE: Data are based on those working full time in the sectors and work activities shown.
Representative terms from entire chapter: