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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

BEYOND BIAS AND BARRIERS

FULFILLING AND POTENTIAL OF WOMEN IN ACADEMIC SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING, AND INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

500 Fifth Street NW Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the Councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Support for this project was provided by the National Academies; the National Institutes of Health Office for Research on Women’s Health under Contract 1-OD-4-2137, Task Order 166; Eli Lilly Company; the National Science Foundation award SBE-0536999; and the Ford Foundation. Eli Lilly funds were used only to support project research. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering (U.S.)

Beyond bias and barriers : fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering / Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN-13: 978-0-309-10042-7 (hardback)

ISBN-10: 0-309-10042-9 (hardback)

ISBN-13: 978-0-309-65454-8 (pdf)

ISBN-10: 0-309-65454-8 (pdf)

1. Women in science—United States. 2. Women in engineering—United States. 3. Science—Study and teaching—United States. 4. Engineering—Study and teaching— United States. 5. Women—Education—United States. 6. Vocational interests—United States. I. Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (U.S.) II. Title.

Q130.C65 2006

500.82’0973—dc22

2006036337

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001; 202-334-2807; Internet, http://www.nationalacademies.org/cosepup.

Additional copies of this workshop summary are available from the

National Academies Press,

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Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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Denice Dee Denton, 1959-2006

A valued member of this committee, Denice Denton was an extraordinarily talented scholar, educational leader, and relentless voice for progress. She helped shape the direction of our nation’s science and engineering enterprise through her research, teaching, technology development, service, leadership, mentoring, public communication of science and engineering, initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion, and outreach to our schools.


She was bigger than life. She opened doors, and stood in them to let others through. She mentored young scholars and students. Her enthusiasm for science was clear and infectious.


She was a force—a magnificent force. She pushed the institutions she inhabited to be better than they wanted to be.


With her tragic death we lost a friend, a colleague, and a champion. We proudly dedicate this report to her.


We will miss her.


Donna E. Shalala

Chair, Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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COMMITTEE ON MAXIMIZING THE POTENTIAL OF WOMEN IN ACADEMIC SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

DONNA E. SHALALA [IOM] (Chair), President,

University of Miami, Miami, Florida

ALICE M. AGOGINO [NAE], Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering,

University of California, Berkeley, California

LOTTE BAILYN, Professor of Management,

Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

ROBERT J. BIRGENEAU [NAS], Chancellor,

University of California, Berkeley, California

ANA MARI CAUCE, Executive Vice Provost and Earl R. Carlson Professor of Psychology,

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

CATHERINE D. DEANGELIS [IOM], Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the American Medical Association,

Chicago, Illinois

DENICE DEE DENTON,* Chancellor,

University of California, Santa Cruz, California

BARBARA J. GROSZ, Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences,

Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and

Dean of Science,

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

JO HANDELSMAN, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor,

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

NANNERL O. KEOHANE, President Emerita,

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

SHIRLEY MALCOM [NAS], Head, Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs,

American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC

GERALDINE RICHMOND, Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor,

Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

ALICE M. RIVLIN, Senior Fellow,

Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

RUTH SIMMONS, President,

Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

ELIZABETH SPELKE [NAS], Berkman Professor of Psychology,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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JOAN STEITZ [NAS/IOM], Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry,

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

ELAINE WEYUKER [NAE], Fellow,

AT&T Laboratories, Florham Park, New Jersey

MARIA T. ZUBER [NAS], E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Principal Project Staff

LAUREL L. HAAK, Study Director

JOHN SISLIN, Program Officer

NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Senior Editor

JUDY GOSS, Senior Program Assistant

IAN CHRISTENSEN,

Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow

ERIN FRY,

Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow

JENNIFER HOBIN,

Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow

MARGARET HORTON,

Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow

RACHAEL SCHOLZ,

Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow

*

Served from September 2005 to June 2006.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND PUBLIC POLICY

GEORGE WHITESIDES (Chair), Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor,

Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

UMA CHOWDHRY, Vice President,

Central Research and Development, DuPont Company, Wilmington, Delaware

RALPH J. CICERONE (Ex officio), President,

National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC

R. JAMES COOK, Interim Dean,

College of Agriculture and Home Economics, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

HAILE DEBAS, Executive Director,

University of California at San Francisco Global Health Sciences, Maurice Galante Distinguished

Professor of Surgery,

San Francisco, California

HARVEY FINEBERG (Ex officio), President,

Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC

MARYE ANNE FOX (Ex officio), Chancellor,

University of California, San Diego, California

ELSA GARMIRE, Sydney E. Junkins Professor of Engineering,

Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

M.R.C. GREENWOOD (Ex officio), Professor of Nutrition and Internal Medicine,

University of California, Davis, California

NANCY HOPKINS, Amgen Professor of Biology,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

MARY-CLAIRE KING,

American Cancer Society

Professor of Medicine and Genetics,

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

W. CARL LINEBERGER, Professor of Chemistry,

Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

RICHARD A. MESERVE, President,

Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC

ROBERT M. NEREM, Parker H. Petit Professor and Director,

Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

LAWRENCE T. PAPAY, Retired Sector Vice President for Integrated Solutions,

Science Applications International Corporation, La Jolla, California

ANNE PETERSEN, Professor,

University of Michigan and

President,

Global Philanthropic Alliance, Kalamazoo, Michigan

CECIL PICKETT, President,

Schering-Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth, New Jersey

EDWARD H. SHORTLIFFE, Professor and Chair,

Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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HUGO SONNENSCHEIN, Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor,

Department of Economics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

LYDIA THOMAS, President and Chief Executive Officer,

Mitretek Systems, Inc., Falls Church, Virginia

SHEILA E. WIDNALL, Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Aeronautics,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

WM. A. WULF (Ex officio), President,

National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC

MARY LOU ZOBACK, Senior Research Scientist,

Earthquake Hazards Team, US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California

Staff

RICHARD BISSELL, Executive Director

DEBORAH STINE, Associate Director

LAUREL HAAK, Program Officer

MARION RAMSEY, Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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Preface

When I started graduate school at Syracuse University in the late sixties, the chair of my department informed me that I would not be eligible for fellowships, because I was a woman. Pulling out a page of statistics, he pointed to the data indicating that women didn’t finish PhD programs, and if they did, they interrupted their academic careers for marriage and children and therefore didn’t go back to catch up with their peers. They were, he concluded, “a bad investment” for the department and the university.

Needless to say, with assistance from the Dean and other more progressive members of the faculty, I did finish my PhD. Then I went to New York to begin my academic career at the City University. At the end of my second semester of teaching, the department chair called me in for an evaluation. After pointing out that I was an excellent teacher and had published more than all of the other professors in the department put together, he said that he felt it necessary to be candid with me. “We have never tenured a woman, and never will; a bad investment,” he said. I immediately called a department chair at Columbia University who had been trying to recruit me and moved over there.

Overt gender discrimination is now very rare, but it is still an issue. There has been considerable progress since I started my career, but it has been painfully slow, especially in science and engineering. The playing field is still not level. Growing numbers of women have earned undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. More and more of these well-qualified scientists and engineers have sought to pursue their calling in both aca-

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

demic and nonacademic settings. However, although women have risen to the challenge of scientific, medical, and technical study and research, the nation’s academic institutions have not hired them for their faculties. The academy has a disappointing record. Institutional policies for attaining tenure are still based on a rigid apprentice system that assumes that a total commitment to an academic career is possible throughout one’s life. Women—and sometimes men who shoulder significant care-giving responsibilities—are still perceived to be “a bad investment.” Women also must deal with lifelong questioning of their ability in science and mathematics and their commitment to a career. As a result, women are underrepresented in science and engineering, particularly in the higher faculty ranks and leadership positions. Women scientists and engineers with minority racial and ethnic backgrounds are virtually absent from the nation’s leading science and engineering departments.

This needless waste of the nation’s scientific talent must end. In addition to considerations of equity that govern employment in other sectors of the nation’s workforce, the United States now faces stiffening science and engineering competition from other nations. We urgently need to make full use of all of our talent to maintain our nation’s leadership. Affording women scientists and engineers the academic career opportunities merited by their educational and professional achievements must be given a high priority by our nation.

The Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy formed our Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering and charged it to recommend methods for achieving that goal. The committee’s mandate was to gather and analyze the best available information on the status of women in academic science and engineering and to propose ways of putting their abilities to the best use.

Specifically, our committee was charged

  • To review and assess the research on gender issues in science and engineering, including innate differences in cognition, implicit bias, and faculty diversity.

  • To examine institutional culture and the practices in academic institutions that contribute to and discourage talented individuals from realizing their full potential as scientists and engineers.

  • To determine effective practices to ensure that women who receive their doctorates in science and engineering have access to a wide array of career opportunities in the academy and in other research settings.

  • To determine effective practices for recruiting women scientists and engineers to faculty positions and retaining them in these positions.

  • To develop findings and provide recommendations based on these data and other information to guide faculty, deans, department chairs, and

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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other university leaders; scientific and professional societies; funding organizations; and government agencies in maximizing the potential of women in science and engineering careers.

Our committee, composed of distinguished scientists and engineers who have attained outstanding careers in academic research and university governance, undertook its task with enthusiasm and dedication. As people who have held major administrative positions, committee members were able to put gender issues into the broadest context. In fulfillment of its mandate, the committee met in Washington, DC, on three occasions to examine evidence and consult with leading experts. We also conferred by conference call on numerous other occasions.

In December 2005, we hosted a public convocation with outstanding researchers to explore the impact of sex and gender on the cognitive and intellectual abilities of men and women and on the attitudes and social institutions that affect the education, recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention of academic science and engineering faculty. Over 150 interested people from academe, government, private funding agencies, and other organizations listened to the presentations, enriched the discussion with questions and comments, and presented their research in a poster session.

The convocation speakers discussed a number of crucial and, in some cases, controversial questions in light of the latest research findings. What does sex-difference research tell us about capability, achievement, and behavior? What are the effects of socialization and social roles on career development? What role do gender attitudes and stereotypes play in evaluation of people, their work, and their potential? What institutional features promote or deter the success of female scientists and engineers? What are the overlapping issues of sex, race, and ethnicity? What else do we need to know, and what key research is needed? The convocation informed the thinking and research that underlie the committee’s final report; the proceedings with invited papers and poster abstracts have been collected into a workshop report, Biological, Social, and Organizational Components of Success for Women in Academic Science and Engineering, published by the National Academies Press.

During the committee’s February 2006 meeting, the committee heard presentations by nationally recognized experts on topics ranging from recent developments in employment discrimination law to programs and strategies used by universities and other employers to advance the careers of women scientists and engineers. At its March meeting, the committee reviewed and refined the report’s findings and recommendations. Throughout the spring, multiple meetings by teleconference permitted our committee to exchange views and information and to prepare our final findings and recommendations.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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At all those sessions and throughout the months-long process of examining the evidence and developing this exhaustive report, in addition to data and opinions supplied by experts, committee members brought their own substantial expertise, insights, energy, and dedication to bear on this project and its goals. We have tried to carry out our task with great rigor, understanding the extraordinary impact that answering these questions and developing strategies can have on the next generation of women in science and engineering. It is our hope that in the future women in science and engineering will not face attitudes and institutional structures that denigrate their work and careers as “questionable” investments. Instead, our work will help ensure that women scientists and engineers take their unquestioned place as full, valued, and vital members of the nation’s academic community.

We have no doubt that a combination of leadership, resources, peer pressure, law enforcement, and public outcry can fundamentally change the culture and opportunities at our research universities. We need look no further than our playing fields for evidence that the academy is capable of cultural and behavioral change when faced with a national imperative. It is time—our time—for a peaceful, thoughtful revolution.


Donna E. Shalala, Chair

Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

Acknowledgments

The Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) appreciates the support of the standing National Academies Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE), which is represented on the guidance group, on the study committee, and on project staff.

This report is the result of the efforts of many people. We would like to thank those who spoke at our convocation and our committee meetings. They were (in alphabetical order)


MAHZARIN RUSTUM BANAJI, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Cambridge, Massachusetts

FRANK DOBBIN, Department of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

ROBERT DRAGO, Department of Labor Studies and Industrial Relations and Department of Women’s Studies, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania

SUSAN FISKE, Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

JAY GIEDD, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

DONNA GINTHER, Department of Economics, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

MARCIA GREENBERGER, National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC

DIANE HALPERN, Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California

ELIZABETH HIRSH, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

JANET HYDE, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

JOANNE MARTIN, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, California

BRUCE MCEWEN [NAS/IOM], Rockefeller University, New York, New York

KELLEE NOONAN, Technical Career Path, Hewlett Packard, Sunnyvale, California

JOAN REEDE, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

SUE ROSSER, Ivan Allen College, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

JOCELYN SAMUELS, National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC

TONI SCHMADER, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona

ANGELICA STACY, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California

SARAH WARBELOW, American Association of University Women Legal Advocacy Fund, Washington, DC

JOAN WILLIAMS, Center for WorkLife Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California

YU XIE, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan


The committee thanks the researchers and consultants who have contributed to the report: Joan Burelli, Frank Dobbin, Donna Ginther, Marc Goulden, Marcia Greenberger, Valerie Kuck, and Mark Regets.

Next, we thank the reviewers of the report. This report has been reviewed in draft form by people selected for their knowledge, expertise, and wide range of perspectives in accordance with the procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following for their participation in the review of this report:

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KENNETH ARROW [NAS/IOM], Professor of Economics and Operations Research, Emeritus, Stanford University

DAVID BALTIMORE [NAS/IOM], President, California Institute of Technology

SUZANNE BRAINARD, Director, Center for Women in Science and Engineering, University of Washington

ALICIA CARRIQUIRY, Associate Provost and Professor of Statistics, Iowa State University

FRANK DOBBIN, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

RON EHRENBERG, Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Director, Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University

CLAUDIA GOLDIN [NAS], Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Harvard University

MARC GOULDEN, Principal Research Analyst, Graduate Division, University of California, Berkeley

EVELYNN HAMMONDS, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, Harvard University

SOPHIA HUYER, Executive Director, Women and Global Science and Technology, Brighton, Ontario

MARC W. KIRSCHNER [NAS], Professor and Chairman, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School

MARIA KLAWE, President, Harvey Mudd College

WILLIAM MILLER [NAS], Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

WILLIE PEARSON, JR., Chair, School of History, Technology, and Society, Ivan Allen College, Georgia Institute of Technology

ABIGAIL STEWART, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Michigan

SHIRLEY TILGHMAN [NAS/IOM], President, Princeton University

C. MEGAN URRY, Director, Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University

SHELDON WEINBAUM [NAS/NAE/IOM], CUNY Distinguished Professor of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, City College of the City University of New York

RICHARD ZARE [NAS], Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science and Chair, Chemistry Department, Stanford University


Although the reviewers had many constructive comments and suggestions about the report, they were not asked to endorse the findings and recommendations of the report, nor did they see a final draft of the report before its release. The report review was overseen by May Berenbaum [NAS], Professor and Head of the Department of Entymology at the Uni-

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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versity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and MRC Greenwood [IOM], Professor of Nutrition and Internal Medicine at the University of California at Davis, appointed by the Report Review Committee, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author committee and the institution.

In addition, we thank the guidance group that oversaw this project:


NANCY HOPKINS [NAS/IOM] (Guidance Group Chair), Amgen Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

ELSA GARMIRE [NAE], Sydney E. Junkins Professor of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

W. CARL LINEBERGER [NAS], Professor of Chemistry, Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

ANNE PETERSEN [IOM], President, Global Philanthropic Alliance, Kalamazoo, Michigan

MAXINE SINGER [NAS/IOM], President Emerita, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC

HUGO SONNENSCHEIN [NAS], Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Economics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

LILLIAN SHIAO-YEN WU, Director of University Relations, International Business Machines, New York, New York

MARY LOU ZOBACK [NAS], Senior Research Scientist, Earthquake Hazards Team, US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California


Finally, we thank the staff of this project for their guidance, including Laurel Haak, program officer with COSEPUP and study director, who managed the project; John Sislin, the collaborating program officer with CWSE; Beryl Benderly, science writer; Norman Grossblatt, report editor; Rita Johnson, managing editor of reports; Judy Goss, who provided research, writing, and project support; Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Graduate Policy Fellows Ian Christensen, Erin Fry, Jennifer Hobin, Margaret Horton, and Rachael Scholz, who provided research and analytical support; Jong-On Hahm, former director of CWSE; Peter Henderson, acting director of CWSE; Mary Mattis, former senior program officer, National Academy of Engineering; Richard Bissell, executive director, and Charlotte Kuh, deputy executive director of the Policy and Global Affairs Division; and Deborah Stine, associate director of COSEPUP.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
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 Society and Culture,

 

42

   

 Socialization of Infants and Children,

 

43

   

 Education,

 

44

   

 Social Effects on Women’s Cognitive Performance,

 

45

   

 Conclusion,

 

49

3

 

EXAMINING PERSISTENCE AND ATTRITION

 

50

   

 Chapter Highlights,

 

50

   

 Findings,

 

51

   

 Recommendations,

 

52

   

 Course Selection in High School,

 

59

   

 College-Going and Majors,

 

61

   

 Undergraduate Persistence to Degree,

 

61

   

 Social Factors Influencing Undergraduate Attrition,

 

63

   

 College to Graduate School,

 

66

   

 Graduate School,

 

68

   

 Graduate School Attrition,

 

75

   

 Postgraduate Career Plans,

 

76

   

 Postdoctoral Appointments,

 

77

   

 Professional Development and Productivity,

 

77

   

 Funding Source,

 

78

   

 Faculty Positions,

 

79

   

 Hiring New Doctorates into Faculty Positions,

 

80

   

 The “Pool”,

 

85

   

 Faculty Mobility,

 

89

   

 Exiting the Tenure Track,

 

91

   

 Tenure,

 

92

   

 Promotion,

 

93

   

 Faculty Retention,

 

95

   

 Departments vs. Centers,

 

99

   

 Economic Impact of Faculty Attrition,

 

100

   

 Case Study: Chemistry,

 

104

   

 Conclusion,

 

109

4

 

SUCCESS AND ITS EVALUATION IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

 

113

   

 Chapter Highlights,

 

113

   

 Findings,

 

114

   

 Recommendations,

 

115

   

 Building a Career,

 

117

   

 Productivity,

 

117

   

 Sex Differences in Publication Productivity,

 

121

   

 Recognition,

 

123

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×
   

 Leadership Positions,

 

125

   

 Grants and Contracts,

 

129

   

 Evaluation of Leaders,

 

129

   

 Evaluation of Success,

 

135

   

 Gender Bias in Evaluation,

 

143

   

 Understanding Discrimination,

 

150

   

 Subtle, Implicit, or Unexamined Bias,

 

151

   

 The Case for Diversity: “There Goes the Neighborhood?”,

 

153

   

 Accountability and Evaluation,

 

155

   

 Beyond Bias,

 

159

   

 Conclusion,

 

159

5

 

INSTITUTIONAL CONSTRAINTS

 

160

   

 Chapter Highlights,

 

160

   

 Findings,

 

161

   

 Recommendations,

 

162

   

 The “Ideal” Scientist or Engineer,

 

166

   

 Recruitment,

 

167

   

 Institutional Interactions,

 

169

   

 Family Responsibilities and the Bias Against Caregivers,

 

174

   

 The Maternal Wall,

 

176

   

 Glass Ceilings,

 

179

   

 Pioneers and Tipping Points,

 

180

   

 The Legal Landscape,

 

189

   

 Bringing Institutional Change,

 

196

   

 Small-Win Experiments,

 

197

   

 Identifying Barriers to Success in Science and Engineering,

 

200

   

 Establishing an Inclusive Work Environment,

 

205

   

 Integrating Work into One’s Whole Life,

 

207

   

 Service Obligations,

 

210

   

 Breaking the Conspiracy of Silence: Minority-Group Women Faculty,

 

210

   

 Funding-Agency-Driven Institutional Transformation,

 

211

   

 Conclusion,

 

212

6

 

FULFILLING THE POTENTIAL OF WOMEN IN ACADEMIC SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

 

214

   

 Root Causes of Disparities,

 

214

   

 Why Change is Necessary,

 

217

   

 What Must Be Done: A Blueprint for Action,

 

219

   

 Change Institutional Processes to Combat Bias,

 

219

   

 Create New Institutional Structures,

 

225

   

 Create Methods for Evaluation and Accountability,

 

229

Page xxii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×
Page xxiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

Figures, Tables, and Boxes

FIGURES

1-1

 

Percentage of science and engineering PhDs awarded to women, 1974-2004,

 

14

1-2

 

Comparison of the proportion of women in PhD pools with those in tenure-track or tenured professor positions in 2003, by field,

 

16

3-1

 

Occupations of science and engineering PhDs by sector, 2002,

 

54

3-2

 

Proportion of women CAREER and PECASE awardees, 1995-2004,

 

79

3-3

 

Number of women faculty in the School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1963-2006,

 

85

3-4

 

Biological and health sciences applicant pool and faculty positions at the University of California, Berkeley, 2001-2004,

 

87

3-5

 

Physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering applicant pool and faculty positions at the University of California, Berkeley, 2001-2004,

 

88

3-6

 

Advancing through the ranks: University of California, Berkeley, faculty, by sex and field,

 

94

3-7

 

Comparison of the number of men and women chemistry faculty members at RI institutions,

 

107

4-1

 

Individual and perceived institutional value of student mentoring, by rank and sex,

 

119

Page xxiv Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

4-2

 

University of California faculty, 30-50 years old, self-reported hours per week engaged in professional work, housework, and caregiving,

 

121

4-3

 

Average NIH research grant award to women and men by budget category, FY 2004,

 

142

5-1

 

Percent of women and men doctoral scientists and engineers in tenured or tenure-track positions, by sex, marital status, and presence of children, 2003,

 

171

5-2

 

Spousal employment of science and engineering PhDs, 30-44 years old in 1999: Married PhDs,

 

172

5-3

 

Employment expertise of spouses of science and engineering PhDs, 30-44 years old in 1999: Married PhDs with employed spouses,

 

173

TABLES

S-1

 

Evidence Refuting Commonly Held Beliefs About Women in Science and Engineering,

 

5

2-1

 

The Magnitude (“d”) of Sex Differences in Mathematics Performance, by Age and Test Cognitive Level,

 

36

3-1

 

Percentage of High School Graduates Completing Advanced Coursework in Mathematics and Science, by Sex and Year of Graduation,

 

60

3-2

 

Percentages of First-Year College Students Intending to Major in Science and Engineering, by Sex and Race or Ethnicity, 2004,

 

62

3-3

 

Number of Bachelor’s Degrees in Science and Engineering, by Sex and Race or Ethnicity, 2001,

 

64

3-4

 

Top Reasons for Leaving Science, Engineering, or Mathematics Undergraduate Degree Program, by Sex,

 

67

3-5

 

Number of PhD Degrees Awarded in Science and Engineering, by Race or Ethnicity and Sex, 2003,

 

70

3-6

 

Primary Source of Support (Percent) for US Citizen and Permanent Resident Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients, by Sex and Race or Ethnicity, 1999-2003,

 

73

3-7

 

Top 10 US Baccalaureate Institutions of Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients, 1999-2003,

 

74

3-8

 

Location and Type of Planned Postgraduate Study for US Citizens and Permanent Resident Science and Engineering PhD Recipients, by Sex, 2003,

 

76

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

3-9

 

Bachelor’s Degree Recipients Compared with Faculty, by Sex and Field, 2002,

 

80

3-10

 

Reasons for Job Change by Sex, All Faculty Ranks, All Fields, 1995-2003,

 

92

3-11

 

Average Start-up Packages for Assistant Professors in Selected Fields Starting in 2000-2001 at Public Research I Universities,

 

102

3-12

 

Start-up Costs Associated with New Professors,

 

103

3-13

 

2001 Chemistry Faculty Members, by Country of Doctorate,

 

106

3-14

 

Chemistry Faculty, by Sex and Rank, 2001,

 

107

3-15

 

Proportion of Chemistry Doctorates Who Obtain Chemistry Faculty Positions at Research I Institutions, by Sex and Year of PhD,

 

108

3-16

 

Institutions Training the Greatest Number of Chemistry Faculty at Research Institutions, by Sex and Year of PhD,

 

109

3-17

 

Number of Faculty Hired at Selected Research I Institutions, by Sex, 1988-1997,

 

110

3-18

 

Women PhD Chemists Working Full-Time at PhD-Granting Institutions, by Rank and Sex, 1990-2005,

 

111

4-1

 

Percentage of Women Nominated to an Honorific Society or for a Prestigious Award and the Percentage of Women Nominees Elected or Awarded, 1996-2005,

 

128

4-2

 

Percentage of Women Chief Editors at Top-Ranked Journals, by Field,

 

133

4-3

 

Department of Energy National Laboratories Leadership Positions,

 

136

4-4

 

National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center Leadership Positions,

 

138

4-5

 

National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center Leadership Positions,

 

140

C-1

 

Map of the Potential Points of Discrimination within Five Domains,

 

271

BOXES

 

Controversies

 

2-3

 

The Evolution of Motivation,

 

42

3-1

 

Models of Faculty Representation,

 

56

Page xxvi Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×
 

Defining the Issues

 

1-1

 

Diversity among Women,

 

18

1-2

 

Building Engineering and Science Talent: The CAWMSET and BEST Projects,

 

20

2-2

 

The Variability Hypothesis,

 

34

3-3

 

Academic Medicine,

 

82

3-5

 

Factors Affecting Faculty Attrition,

 

96

5-1

 

Universities Reaffirm Pledge for Gender Equity,

 

180

5-3

 

A Primer on Anti-discrimination Laws,

 

192

5-4

 

Types of Discrimination Banned under the Anti-discrimination Laws,

 

195

5-8

 

Creating Flexibility in Tenure-Track Faculty Careers,

 

201

5-10

 

Women’s Initiative, Duke University,

 

204

6-2

 

The Harvard University Task Force on Women in Science and Engineering,

 

220

6-9

 

Title IX,

 

239

6-10

 

Elephants in the Room,

 

242

 

Focus on Research

 

1-3

 

Committee on Women in Science and Engineering: Gender Differences in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty,

 

22

2-1

 

Meta-analysis,

 

27

2-4

 

Stereotype Threat,

 

46

4-5

 

Blinded Peer Review,

 

146

4-7

 

Making Diversity Work,

 

156

4-9

 

Top Research Articles on the Effects of Bias on Evaluation,

 

158

5-2

 

Workplace Pioneers: “Men in Skirts”,

 

183

6-1

 

Benefits of Presumed Competence,

 

216

 

Experiments and Strategies

 

3-2

 

Carnegie Mellon’s Women in Computer Science Program,

 

68

3-6

 

Task Force on the Retention and Promotion of Junior Faculty, Yale Women Faculty Forum,

 

100

3-7

 

The University of Washington Faculty Retention Toolkit,

 

105

4-1

 

Speaker Representation at Scientific and Professional Society Meetings,

 

126

4-2

 

Pioneer Award,

 

130

4-3

 

Breaking through the “Polycarbonate Ceiling”—The Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists,

 

132

Page xxvii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

4-4

 

Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) Theater Program: NSF ADVANCE at the University of Michigan,

 

144

4-6

 

Searching for Excellence and Diversity: Workshops for Search Committee Chairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,

 

148

4-8

 

Specific Steps for Overcoming Bias,

 

158

5-5

 

National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program,

 

196

5-7

 

Deloitte and Touche: Leadership in Industry Case Study,

 

200

5-9

 

Women in Cell Biology,

 

203

6-3

 

Improving the Retention of Junior Faculty Case Study: Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine Task Force,

 

222

6-4

 

Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute: Climate Workshops for Department Chairs,

 

224

6-5

 

Building Strong Academic Chemistry Departments through Gender Equity,

 

226

6-6

 

Stanford University’s Childbirth Policy for Female Graduate Students,

 

228

6-7

 

Financial Support for Dependent Care,

 

230

 

Tracking and Evaluation

 

3-4

 

The Association of American Medical Colleges’ Faculty Roster, the American Chemical Society Directory of Graduate Research, and the American Institute of Physics Academic Workforce Survey,

 

90

5-6

 

The Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility,

 

198

6-8

 

Scorecard for Evaluating How Well Research Universities Serve Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering,

 

234

Page xxviii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11741.
×

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The United States economy relies on the productivity, entrepreneurship, and creativity of its people. To maintain its scientific and engineering leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United States must aggressively pursue the innovative capacity of all its people—women and men. However, women face barriers to success in every field of science and engineering; obstacles that deprive the country of an important source of talent. Without a transformation of academic institutions to tackle such barriers, the future vitality of the U.S. research base and economy are in jeopardy.

Beyond Bias and Barriers explains that eliminating gender bias in academia requires immediate overarching reform, including decisive action by university administrators, professional societies, federal funding agencies and foundations, government agencies, and Congress. If implemented and coordinated across public, private, and government sectors, the recommended actions will help to improve workplace environments for all employees while strengthening the foundations of America's competitiveness.

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