Elite male faculty in the life sciences employ fewer women

Sheltzer, J. M., Smith, J. C. (July 2014) Elite male faculty in the life sciences employ fewer women. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111 (28). pp. 10107-12. ISSN 1091-6490 (Electronic)0027-8424 (Linking)

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URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24982167
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1403334111


Women make up over one-half of all doctoral recipients in biology-related fields but are vastly underrepresented at the faculty level in the life sciences. To explore the current causes of women's underrepresentation in biology, we collected publicly accessible data from university directories and faculty websites about the composition of biology laboratories at leading academic institutions in the United States. We found that male faculty members tended to employ fewer female graduate students and postdoctoral researchers (postdocs) than female faculty members did. Furthermore, elite male faculty--those whose research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who had been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, or who had won a major career award--trained significantly fewer women than other male faculty members. In contrast, elite female faculty did not exhibit a gender bias in employment patterns. New assistant professors at the institutions that we surveyed were largely comprised of postdoctoral researchers from these prominent laboratories, and correspondingly, the laboratories that produced assistant professors had an overabundance of male postdocs. Thus, one cause of the leaky pipeline in biomedical research may be the exclusion of women, or their self-selected absence, from certain high-achieving laboratories.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: *Academies and Institutes *Biological Science Disciplines *Education, Graduate *Faculty Female Humans Male *National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) United States *Women, Working gender diversity women in STEM
Subjects: educational material
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Sheltzer lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 15 July 2014
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2015 19:54
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2017 20:38
PMCID: PMC4104900
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/31745

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