Certain colleges may have cultures that nudge female students into stereotypically female fields and men into stereotypically male ones, suggests a study presented at the annual conference of the American Sociological Association.Colleges that have relatively few women among their tenured faculty members and exceptionally small numbers of men among their undergraduates generally have higher levels of gender segregation by major than do other institutions, the study found. So do colleges with football teams in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, suggesting that those with athletic programs that emphasize male-dominated sports are less likely to encourage the gender integration of various academic fields, according to a paper summarizing the study's results.
Certain colleges may have cultures that nudge female students into stereotypically female fields and men into stereotypically male ones, suggests a study whose findings are slated to be presented here on Tuesday at the annual conference of the American Sociological Association.
Colleges that have relatively few women among their tenured faculty members and exceptionally small numbers of men among their undergraduates generally have higher levels of gender segregation by major than do other institutions, the study found. So do colleges with football teams in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, suggesting that those with athletic programs that emphasize male-dominated sports are less likely to encourage the gender integration of various academic fields, according to a paper summarizing the study's results.
Colleges that promote study in the liberal arts, by contrast, tend to have more students go into fields traditionally associated with members of the opposite sex, the paper says.
The paper's authors are Jayne Baker, a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Toronto, and Ann L. Mullen, an associate professor of sociology there. They based their analysis on federal data on nearly 1.3 million students who earned bachelor's degrees from one of about 1,400 colleges in the United States during the 2004-5 academic year. The data were collected by the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics as part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
The National Council for Research on Women invites you to nominate candidates for its annual Member Center Awards that honor excellence in our network. These awards include: the Member Center Lifetime Achievement Award, the Advocacy Award, the Research and Scholarship Award, the Emerging Center Award, and the Diversity and Inclusion Award.
A report published today by the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission shows a continuing trend of women being passed over for top jobs in Britain. More than 5,400 women are missing from Britain’s 26,000 most powerful posts.
From the press release:
A new report, published today by the Commission, shows a continuing trend of women being passed over for top jobs in Britain. More than 5,400 women are missing from Britain’s 26,000 most powerful posts.
The report, Sex & Power 2011, measures the number of women in positions of power and influence across 27 occupational categories in the public and private sectors.
The Commission’s report calculates that at the current rate of change it will take around 70 years to reach an equal number of men and women directors of FTSE 100 companies. It also found it could be up to 70 years before there are an equal number of women MPs in parliament – another 14 general elections.
Worryingly, the results of this year’s report differ very little from those in the previous report of 2008..
Figures from this year’s report reveal that, while women are graduating from university in increasing numbers and achieve better degree results than men, and despite level pegging with men in their twenties, they are not entering management ranks at the same rate, and many remain trapped in the layer below senior management.
Among this year’s findings were:
In politics women represent:
22.2 per cent of MPs (up from 19.3 per cent in 2008)
17.4 per cent of Cabinet members (down from 26.1 per cent in 2008)
21.9 per cent of members of the House of Lords (up from 19.7 per cent in 2008)
13.2 per cent of Local authority council leaders (down from 14.3 per cent in 2008)
In business women represent:
12.5 per cent of directors of FTSE 100 companies (up from 11 per cent in 2008)
7.8 per cent of directors in FTSE 250 companies (up from 7.2 per cent in 2008)
In media and culture, women represent:
9.5 per cent of national newspaper editors (down from 13.6 per cent in 2008)
6.7 per cent of chief executives of media companies in the FTSE 350 and the director general of the BBC (down from 10.5 per cent in 2008)
26.1 per cent of directors of major museums and art galleries (up from 17.4 per cent in 2008)
In the public and voluntary sector, women represent:
12.9 per cent of senior members of the judiciary (up from 9.6 per cent in 2008)
22.8 per cent of local authority chief executives (up from 19.5 per cent in 2008)
35.5 per cent of head teachers of secondary schools (down from 36.3 per cent in 2008)
14.3 per cent of university vice chancellors (down from 14.4 per cent in 2008)
Studies have shown that outdated working patterns where long hours are the norm, inflexible organisations and the unequal division of domestic responsibilities are major barriers to women’s participation in positions of authority.
The British economy is paying the price for this exclusion. It has been suggested that greater diversity on corporate boards would improve business performance and increase levels of corporate social responsibility.
The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) issued the second in a series of reports on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs and higher education. Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation, finds there are fewer women than men in STEM jobs and attaining degrees in STEM fields. But interestingly, that’s true despite the fact that the wage premium for women in STEM jobs is higher than that for men and that there’s greater income parity between genders in STEM fields than there is in the employment market as a whole.
From the press release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) today issued the second in a series of reports on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs and higher education.
As expected, the report, Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation, finds there are fewer women than men in STEM jobs and attaining degrees in STEM fields. But interestingly, that’s true despite the fact that the wage premium for women in STEM jobs is higher than that for men and that there’s greater income parity between genders in STEM fields than there is in the employment market as a whole.
While women make up 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, only 24 percent hold STEM jobs. Over the past decade, this underrepresentation has remained fairly constant, even as women’s share of the college-educated workforce has increased.
Women with STEM jobs, however, earned 33 percent more than women in non-STEM jobs in 2009, exceeding the 25 percent earnings premium for men in STEM. Women in STEM also experience a smaller gender wage gap than their counterparts in other fields.
“We haven’t done as well as we could to encourage young people to go into STEM jobs – particularly women – which inhibits American innovation,” said Acting Secretary of Commerce Dr. Rebecca Blank. “Closing the gender gap in STEM degrees will boost the number of Americans in STEM jobs, and that will enhance U.S. innovation and sharpen our global competitiveness.”
Women who do get STEM degrees are more likely to enter jobs in fields like education or healthcare, the report finds. And while more women choose to major in math than men – nearly 10 percent versus 6 percent – most men with STEM majors select engineering degrees. Engineers are the most male-dominated STEM occupational group but also the one with the smallest gender wage gap.
“The data in this new report speak for themselves – loud and clear. But so does the research about what is needed to engage girls in STEM learning,” said Dr. Linda Rosen, CEO of Change the Equation, a non-profit, non-partisan, CEO-led initiative focused on solving America’s innovation problem. “Girls prefer creative, collaborative learning on open-ended projects that help improve the human condition. An important part of Change the Equation’s mission is to help give more girls nationwide opportunities to engage in this type of learning.”
Several possible factors contribute to the discrepancy of women and men in STEM jobs, including a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendly flexibility in the STEM fields. Yet regardless of the causes, the findings of this report offer important evidence to inform policy efforts to encourage and support women in STEM.
U. S. Commerce Department Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
A study by researchers at University of Washington of female engineering students' perceived challenges finds significant differences between black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American and white women. The findings could help institutions better retain particular underrepresented groups of students.
Attempts to recruit and retain more women in undergraduate engineering programs often lump all female students into a single group. At best, minority women as a group may receive special attention.
But a new study of female engineering students' perceived challenges finds significant differences between black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American and white women. The findings by researchers at University of Washington could help institutions better retain particular underrepresented groups of students.
"What we're finding is these women's experiences are different, which is why grouping all women together doesn't make sense," said co-author Elizabeth Litzler, research director at the UW's Center for Workforce Development. She recently presented the findings in Vancouver, B.C., at the annual meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education.
The study used data collected in 2008 by the Project to Assess Climate in Engineering survey, conducted by UW researchers and funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Investigators distributed questionnaires and interviews to undergraduate engineering students at 21 U.S. colleges and universities that were interested in supporting diversity programs. The study received more than 10,500 responses, with higher than average numbers of women and minority students.
"The study's size gave us a really great opportunity to talk about race, which is usually not possible in engineering," Litzler said.
The UW researchers looked at the aggregate findings to seek overall trends among the responses. Students were asked about such subjects as teaching, labs, student interactions, personal experiences and their perceptions of their major.
"We see important trends in our findings," Litzler said. "For example, Hispanics reported feeling like they were taken less seriously than other students. African-Americans, not at all."
However, black women reported higher instances of feeling singled out in the classroom because of their race than Hispanic, Native American and Asian-American women.
Another significant finding related to female students' comfort approaching their professors. Many female students said they were uncomfortable approaching professors with questions, but black women were significantly less likely to report this as an issue.
Native American women were the least likely to approach their professors individually.
"These findings advance our understanding of race and experience of undergraduate engineering education," Litzler said. "I don't think this suggest huge differences. But having a better understanding of where students may be coming from may be able to help us direct them, and give them suggestions that may lead to them staying in engineering."
The trends come from analyzing numerical scores on the questionnaires. Next the researchers will analyze the students' interview responses to better understand the reasons behind these trends.
The UW investigators also will continue with the larger PACE study. Researchers gave each school a summary of its students' responses as well as recommendations for interventions that would improve the students' experiences, such as instituting diversity training for teaching assistants, or providing more mentoring opportunities for freshmen women. More than half the schools have since implemented at least three of the suggested interventions.
"You can't just attack retention by developing a bunch of interventions. Institutions need a strategic plan," said co-author Suzanne Brainard, UW affiliate professor of gender, women and sexuality studies and of human centered design and engineering and executive director of the UW's Center for Workforce Development.
A new grant from the Sloan Foundation will allow the center to follow up with the schools. Starting in September, UW researchers will go back and collect data to see whether the targeted interventions succeeded in retaining more women and minorities. Brainard said she is confident the data will show that retention rates have improved.
Students at the UW were not included in the study because it looked only at one-tier schools, where students enroll in an undergraduate engineering program directly from high school. However, the UW and other schools where not all engineering students are admitted in the freshman year could still benefit from the findings, the authors said.
Since 2007, the HERS Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration at the University of Denver has offered women faculty and administrators the opportunity to participate in an intensive program to prepare them to be leaders in higher education. Starting in 2011, we are pleased to offer the HERS Denver Summer Institute in a new two week concentrated immersion format.
NEW TWO WEEK CONCENTRATED IMMERSION FORMAT Preliminary Schedule July 24 - August 7, 2011
National Leadership Forums are the hallmark programs of the Office of Women in Higher Education (OWHE). Since 1977, ACE/OWHE National Leadership Forums have served as ACE's principal means of identifying outstanding women and promoting their advancement to the highest levels of leadership in U.S. colleges, universities, and associations.
New research by Joel E. Cohen and colleagues in Norway found that, at least among a population of Norwegian women, childbearing impeded education more than education impeded childbearing. The surprising findings are reported online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
From the press release:
In almost every country, women with more education have fewer children. But does education reduce childbearing, or does childbearing get in the way of education, or both? New research by Joel E. Cohen and colleagues in Norway found that, at least among a population of Norwegian women, childbearing impeded education more than education impeded childbearing. The surprising findings are reported online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Cohen and his co-authors, Øystein Kravdal and Nico Keilman from the University of Oslo, followed all the women born in Norway in 1964 through the end of their childbearing, using year-by-year data on education, enrollment and reproduction.
The researchers expected to find that women around 40 years old with more education bear fewer children mainly because education reduces childbearing. However, they found the opposite: women who have children early seem not to go on to higher education, much more than higher education reduces childbearing.
Cohen and his colleagues offer several possible policy implications based on their findings. For example, should women be discouraged from bearing children at an early age? The authors suggest that policy makers could recognize that early childbearing may be a result of decisions made by well-informed individuals. On the other hand, if society places a large value on education that is inadequately taken into account through individuals' decision making, policies could be adopted that discourage people from having children at an early age.
In addition, if women underestimate how much childbearing interferes with further education — along with potentially adverse consequences for their long-term quality of life — then a case could be made that it would be a good idea to create more awareness about the educational consequences of early childbearing.
Finally, a policy could be implemented that offset the effect of childbearing on education by, for example, lowering the cost of child care for students who are mothers. Such a policy, the authors say, could in principle make more women interested in having a child early; however, it would increase the educational levels for those who would have a child (whether wanted or not) while they are still young, with potentially beneficial effects also on others' well-being.
In most societies, women at age 39 with higher levels of education have fewer children. To understand this association, we investigated the effects of childbearing on educational attainment and the effects of education on fertility in the 1964 birth cohort of Norwegian women. Using detailed annual data from ages 17 to 39, we estimated the probabilities of an additional birth, a change in educational level, and enrollment in the coming year, conditional on fertility history, educational level, and enrollment history at the beginning of each year. A simple model reproduced a declining gradient of children ever born with increasing educational level at age 39. When a counterfactual simulation assumed no effects of childbearing on educational progression or enrollment (without changing the estimated effects of education on childbearing), the simulated number of children ever born decreased very little with increasing completed educational level, contrary to data. However, when another counterfactual simulation assumed no effects of current educational level and enrollment on childbearing (without changing the estimated effects of childbearing on education), the simulated number of children ever born decreased with increasing completed educational level nearly as much as the decrease in the data. In summary, in these Norwegian data, childbearing impeded education much more than education impeded childbearing. These results suggest that women with advanced degrees have lower completed fertility on the average principally because women who have one or more children early are more likely to leave or not enter long educational tracks and never attain a high educational level.
EurekAlert / Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The Talk About it survey questioned over 1500 Australian women enrolled in college on their experiences of sexual assault and harassment, their perceptions of safety, the availability of information and services and their experiences of how well incidences were dealt with once reported.
From the report summary:
The survey was developed in response to a need for national data on the issue following on from a series of incidents at residential halls and colleges in NSW and the ACT. Initial findings showed that 1 in 10 of the respondents had experiences sexual assault while at university and that more than 60% of women felt unsafe whilst on campus at night. These are on top of the national figures of 1 in 3 experiencing some form of physical violence during their adult life and 1 in 5 experiencing sexual violence.
The “Safe Universities Blueprint” forms part of the survey’s final report. It is a framework for tackling the issues outlined in the results of the survey. The recommendations were adapted from Australian best-practice, international initiatives and from suggestions from the youth, women’s and tertiary education sectors. In this way, NUS has been able to develop a consensus document that recognizes the various needs and experiences of everyone involved. The recommendations are aimed at both universities and students. This two-tiered approach acknowledges the roles and responsibilities of both groups in tackling such a pervasive and wide-spread issue.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) analyzed grant applications to determine whether there is a correlation between the sex of the applicants and the award of NIH grant funding. The study determined that success and funding rates for men and women were not significantly different in most award programs and that, in programs where participation was lower for women than men, the disparity was primarily related to a lower percentage of women applicants compared with men, rather than decreased success rates or funding rates.
Longitudinal analysis showed that men with previous experience as NIH grantees had higher application and funding rates than women at similar career points. On average, women received larger R01 awards, which are the "gold standard" of NIH funding, than men, but men had more R01 awards than women at all points in their careers.
Purpose: The authors provide an analysis of sex differences in National Institutes of Health (NIH) award programs to inform potential initiatives for promoting diversity in the research workforce.
Method: In 2010, the authors retrieved data for NIH extramural grants in the electronic Research Administration Information for Management, Planning, and Coordination II database and used statistical analysis to determine any sex differences in securing NIH funding, as well as subsequent success of researchers who had already received independent NIH support.
Results: Success and funding rates for men and women were not significantly different in most award programs. Furthermore, in programs where participation was lower for women than men, the disparity was primarily related to a lower percentage of women applicants compared with men, rather than decreased success rates or funding rates. However, for subsequent grants, both application and funding rates were generally higher for men than for women.
Conclusions: Cross-sectional analysis showed that women and men were generally equally successful at all career stages, but longitudinal analysis showed that men with previous experience as NIH grantees had higher application and funding rates than women at similar career points. On average, although women received larger R01 awards than men, men had more R01 awards than women at all points in their careers. Therefore, while greater participation of women in NIH programs is under way, further action will be required to eradicate remaining sex differences.