Emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic endangers the engagement, experience, and retention of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). If these possibilities are not outlined systematically and addressed intentionally, the COVID-19 pandemic may have long-term impacts on the future of the STEMM workforce. Moreover, if new opportunities for improving the engagement and retention of women that have arisen during the course of 2020 are not explored, the capacity for building, learning, and developing improved systems may diminish. Thus, just as the 2020 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus study report Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Opening Doors (the Promising Practices report) called attention to the challenges that women in STEMM experience and presented evidence-based recommendations to address the well-established structural barriers that impede the advancement of women in STEMM (NASEM, 2020), this committee identified and illuminated the ways that the COVID-19 pandemic affected women in academic STEMM during 2020, and laid out a path for future research for years to come.
The reason it is important to understand the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women is that there is clear evidence that advances in knowledge and practice in the fields of academic STEMM benefit from a workforce composed of people who represent a diversity from multiple perspectives, including gender, ethnicity, and ancestry. These perspectives contribute unique “vectors of skills, experiences, and talents” to the STEMM enterprise (Page, 2007, 2008, 2019). Despite these observed benefits, there remains a paucity of women in
STEMM, with both structural and institutional inequities contributing to women’s persistent underrepresentation and undue burdens in academic STEMM fields.1 Recognizing the importance of diversity to knowledge production, public and private agencies have invested heavily in efforts to diversify STEMM fields and, over the past few decades there has been an absolute increase in the number of women—particularly white women and, to a degree, Asian women—who have earned degrees across the STEMM landscape. Although progress has been slower for Black, Indigenous, and Latina women, there is no denying that the presence of Women of Color in STEMM is expanding. However, given that STEMM fields generally grant privilege to white, masculine norms, these advances in diversity are not secure.
To fully understand the context of this report, it is important to recall how the COVID-19 pandemic upended almost all workplaces during 2020, including higher education, where much STEMM work takes place. In March 2020, when public health experts and U.S. government officials recognized the gravity of the global pandemic, almost every college and university restricted in-person activities such as teaching, research, and laboratory operations (Holshue et al., 2020).2 Faculty members, many of whom had never experienced online education as instructors nor as students (Terosky and Gonzales, 2016), shifted to online instruction; suspended human, laboratory, and field research; and discontinued or adapted their service and mentorship work to a new mode of operation. Similarly, academic medical centers shifted focus to urgent operations in the face of tremendous clinical demands while sustaining medical education through virtual curricula. Almost immediately, the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect the finances of colleges, universities, and academic medical centers; student access and experiences; and faculty careers. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed likely that there were disparate and potentially lasting effects on women faculty, staff, and scholars in higher education, especially women in STEMM (Collins et al., 2020; Schreiber, 2020). For example, many women reported a rapid expansion of caregiving and domestic tasks, relative to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, coupled with the quickly evolving and emotional demands related to virtual forms
1 Throughout this report, the term women is understood to broadly include all individuals who identify as women. Furthermore, the committee is focused on gender, rather than sex, prompting the use of “woman,” not “female.” Woman refers to a person’s gender, whereas female refers to a person’s sex. Although these terms are often used interchangeably and can be related, they are discrete concepts. Gender is a nonbinary social construct, whereas sex is primarily considered a biological trait.
2 The first recognized detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that led to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the United States was recorded in January 2020. The first case in China occurred in December 2019 (Holshue et al., 2020). Although some academic institutions did not give faculty members any choice in teaching mode, many provided options for faculty who are in higher-risk brackets for COVID-19 to teach remotely or in person as well as resources for faculty who need to teach from home.
of teaching, mentoring, and research (Cardel et al., 2020a; Gabster et al., 2020; Power, 2020). Throughout the course of 2020, these expectations did not subside: women scholars continued to report tensions related to caregiving, household management, and work, and caregiving was no longer part of a “second shift” job, but concomitant with the “first shift” of their academic job.
The effects of COVID-19 during 2020 varied across STEMM disciplines. Laboratory-based researchers reported being unable to do work due to the shutdown of laboratories (Korbel and Stegle, 2020), whereas researchers in computational biology, data science, mathematics, statistics, computer science, and economics reported being able to continue work and collaborations, and reported minimal decline in research time (Korbel and Stegle, 2020; Myers et al., 2020). Some fields, like the geosciences, reported increases in paper submissions in 2020 (Wooden and Hanson, 2020). One survey indicated that many life scientists took the opportunity to analyze data, write manuscripts or theses, or improve skills through online coursework (Korbel and Stegle, 2020).
As summarized in the Promising Practices report, it is challenging to address and dismantle the persistent inequities experienced by women in academia (Bickel, 2004; Holman et al., 2018; Mangurian et al., 2018; NASEM, 2020). As that report concluded, bias, discrimination, and harassment are major contributors to the underrepresentation of women; it recommended that institutions create a supportive working environment by allocating resources to support research, teaching, advancement, and career development, and to create institutional structures that promote fairness and transparency. Overcoming unconscious bias is linked to slowed decision-making (NASEM, 2020).3 However, given the accelerated time frames that many leaders faced during the initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to transform their educational, research, and clinical environments, some of these deliberately slow processes might have seemed impossible to implement.
Recognizing the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic on faculty, many colleges and universities quickly adopted policies such as tenure clock extensions to relieve the pressure on pre-tenure colleagues. However, research shows that while tenure clock extensions may be helpful to some, it is not a policy solution that attends to all (Antecol et al., 2018; Gonzales and Griffin, 2020; Scott, 2016). Importantly, the vast majority of faculty do not hold tenure-track appointments (Curtis, 2019). Instead, non-tenure-track or contingent faculty, clinical faculty, lecturers, research associates and scientists, and postdoctoral scholars together account for about 73 percent of the entire academic workforce, including in STEMM fields (AAUP, 2018, 2020a, 2020b; Curtis, 2019; Finkelstein et al., 2016; Kezar et al., 2019). Moreover, women, and particularly Black, Indigenous,
3 For example, when hiring, best practices include posting all positions; using carefully considered language in the job description; reflecting on and ranking the specific qualifications that are expected and criteria that will be evaluated; encouraging search committees to recruit broadly and creatively; and training members to mitigate their own biases (NASEM, 2020).
and Latina women, are more likely to hold non-tenure-track faculty positions, implying that tenure clock extensions have no bearing on their work arrangements and that they are also more likely to suffer temporary or permanent layoffs (Chronicle Staff, 2020; Kalev, 2020; Kezar et al., 2019; Nzinga, 2020; Pettit, 2020b).4 Even for those on the tenure track, there is evidence that in some fields, gender-neutral tenure-track extension policies actually widened the gap between the tenure rates of women and men by increasing the tenure rate for men while decreasing it for women (Antecol et al., 2018). For women striving to establish themselves as STEMM professionals, hiring freezes at universities triggered by the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may also disrupt the short-term career flow of Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral scholars, as well as the career aspirations of some tenure-track and tenured faculty and contract renewal prospects for non-tenure-track faculty and staff.
Research suggests that when women are able to return to their professional responsibilities, they may face heightened demands for support from students as well as colleagues (Gonzales and Griffin, 2020). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, scholars established that women faculty do more work involving significant emotional labor, which includes affirming and mentoring students as well as early-career or peer colleagues, and identifying key resources for these individuals (Armstrong and Jovanovic, 2015, 2017; Bellas, 1999; Ruder et al., 2018; Smith, 2019; Turner and González, 2011).
For academic Women of Color, especially Black women, the compounding effects of racism during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 cannot be ignored. Many Women of Color often face extraordinary expectations as one of a few Faculty of Color, such as the perception that they can and do represent and serve all People of Color. For Women of Color, research suggests explicitly that the intersection of their racial and gender identities multiplies the expectations for emotional labor and care work, as Students of Color and women students seek out guidance from relatable role models (Moore et al., 2010; Porter et al., 2018). Although this work is incredibly important, it largely goes unrecognized in policies and processes related to career advancement (Bellas, 1999; Gonzales and Ayers, 2018; Hanasono et al., 2019; Oleschuk, 2020; Power, 2020; Tunguz, 2016). If institutions fail to recognize these additional dimensions of labor, women, and particularly Women of Color, may become emotionally depleted, burned out, and in need of additional support for their well-being, with less time and energy to commit to it. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than a quarter of women in the workforce considered reducing their workloads, shifting their careers, or leaving the workforce (Coury et al., 2020). Although this finding was based on women working within the private corporate sector, there are similar stories in higher education news and scholarly outlets (Cardel et al., 2020a; McMurtrie,
4 An informally gathered list of changes to tenure clock policies is available at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1U5REApf-t-76UXh8TKAGoLlwy8WIMfSSyqCJbb5u9lA/edit#gid=0&fvid=238051147.
2020; Somerville and Gruber, 2020; Woolston, 2020a). This report arises out of the need to expeditiously identify, name, and document how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the careers of women in academic STEMM during the initial 9-month period since March 2020 and what the potential downstream effects might be. Preliminary evidence indicates that disruptions in 2020 could have both short- and long-term consequences that will likely vary across institution type (e.g., community colleges, baccalaureate-granting institutions, doctoral-granting and research universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities); career stage or focus (e.g., graduate student; postdoctoral scholar; medical resident; clinician; tenure-track, tenured, full-time non-tenure-track, and adjunct faculty); academic rank (e.g., assistant professor, associate professor, full professor); and personal characteristics, including family structure, caregiving responsibilities, and behavioral health status.
The COVID-19 pandemic was devastating in so many ways, but it was not the only major event affecting the nation in 2020. Although the primary focus of this study is the COVID-19 pandemic’s potential impacts on women’s STEMM career trajectories, the committee recognized several contextual elements that actively intensified the immediate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the effects of anti-Black racism, the economic recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the sudden importance of technology-mediated interactions. While this report was motivated by and focuses almost entirely on the COVID-19 pandemic, other large-scale disruptions (e.g., climate change–related events, severe economic recessions, or other novel infectious disease outbreaks) will continue to be risks that the scientific enterprise faces. In that regard, this report may prove useful in responding to future crises.
While racism is intertwined in every aspect of American life and the history of racism in the United States is well documented, the summer of 2020 marked an awakening for many people, particularly white people, about the deep historical roots and pervasive nature of racism in this country. It is important to recognize and understand the always-present impacts of discriminatory practices and behavior—particularly anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism—in the United States and globally. Indeed, even when looking at the demographics of lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are wide inequities observed by race and socioeconomic factors, especially for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Americans (APM Research Lab Staff, 2020). For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s November 30, 2020, update on ratios of hospitalization and death by
race/ethnicity demonstrated that Hispanic/Latinx persons, non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native persons, and non-Hispanic Black/African American persons experienced between 1.4 and 1.8 times as many cases, approximately 4 times the number of hospitalizations, and more than 2.5 times as many deaths compared with white, non-Hispanic individuals (CDC, 2020a).5
Black women incurred unique burdens during 2020. Articles from June and October 2020 described the increased stress and terror that some Black women experienced as a result of being immersed in a climate with persistent racism, being the target of anti-Black sentiments, and feeling compelled to speak out to validate and support Black Lives Matter activities, all compounded by effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (Flaherty, 2020g; McCoy, 2020). Because the COVID-19 pandemic has led to disproportionate numbers of Black people becoming ill or dying, Black women also report feelings of deep despair as the virus impacts the lives of friends and relatives or their own health (McCoy, 2020).
One outcome of the increased attention and public discussion of systemic racism in the United States during the summer of 2020 was an increased focus on anti-racism as an approach to addressing, preventing, or mitigating harms within university systems (Belay, 2020; Gray et al., 2020; Taylor Jr. et al., 2020). Contrary to being not racist, which is a neutral stance that can nonetheless perpetuate racism through inaction, a person or institution that is anti-racist actively addresses and supports policies that dismantle inequities between all marginalized populations (Kendi, 2019). Taking an anti-racist approach to understanding university systems and supports requires institutions to scrutinize the systemic racial bias that is endemic within the fabric of their own organizational culture, specifically policies and practices and the communities served, as well as nationally.
Often, workplace diversity practices do not analyze racial oppression or commit to disrupting it from a structural perspective (Ahmed, 2012; Zschirnt, 2016).6 Research does indicate that proactively hiring diverse staff and leadership across many attributes—ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, and personality type—results in increased levels of creativity, innovation, and effective problem solving (Page, 2007, 2008, 2019). By understanding racial oppression as a structural occurrence, rather than the result of individual acts of prejudice, it is possible to confront the root causes of racial disparities (Cassedy, 1997; McSwain, 2019; Pager and Shepherd, 2008). Therefore, the committee could not ignore how racism and gender come together to uniquely affect Black women, among other Women of Color, in the context of this study. In that regard, the committee used the concept of intersectionality—a lens for understanding how social identities, especially for marginalized groups, relate to systems of authority and power—to help it examine the possible ways that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Women of Color specifically.
5 Ratios are given as age-adjusted rates standardized to the 2000 U.S. standard population.
6Workplace diversity refers to demographic variation within an organization’s staff and leadership.
Gender-specific disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are apparent in virtually every sector of the economy (Alon et al., 2020a, 2020b). Overall, women have been forced out of the workforce at a higher rate than men and were more likely to report they will need to leave the workforce if their children’s school systems did not have in-person classes in fall 2020 (FRB, 2020; Heggeness, 2020). Disconnecting women in academia from these household issues is simply not possible. As is discussed throughout this report, these economy-wide effects on women are likely a result of the historic gender imbalance of household and caregiving duties persisting into the COVID-19 pandemic (Miller, 2020).
It was clear before the pandemic that one of the most important challenges to a convergence in opportunities for persons of any gender in the workplace was a need for flexibility—in compensation schemes, work arrangements, and scheduling, among other considerations (Goldin, 2014). On one hand, the inflexibility of many COVID-19 pandemic-related policies (e.g., social distancing), alongside women’s greater willingness to abide by these policies, is proving a challenge for women in virtually every industry (Coury et al., 2020). On the other hand, the growth of more flexible work arrangements in remote work environments and with dynamic work schedules could prove to be important testbeds for the technologies and work-related contracts that have long been needed to allow for equitable opportunities for all genders in all workplaces.
Technology has assumed mixed roles during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as students, faculty, researchers, and others attempt to restore work activity. In some respects, technology has facilitated increased access to conferences, collaborations with scholars outside their institutions, and delivery of content for courses in novel and creative ways (Gottlieb et al., 2020; Niner et al., 2020). However, technology has also resulted in creating workplaces that often have less clarity related to boundaries between personal and professional lives. It has forced households that typically had one or two individuals using the internet at the same time to adjust to a new reality in which adults engaged in work and students involved in classwork are competing for bandwidth, forcing families to make larger investments in internet capacity (Bacher-Hicks et al., 2020; Stelitano et al., 2020; Vogels et al., 2020). For many, especially contract-based faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars, economic barriers can strain equitable access to sufficient Wi-Fi or other internet access. Thus, whereas this may seem like a minor inconvenience for some academics, it can be consequential for others (Zahneis, 2020).
Finally, women in STEMM face excessive sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination (NASEM, 2018), a phenomenon not isolated to in-person interactions (Barak, 2005). A key contribution of the 2018 National Academies
report on harassment of women was to point out that sexual harassment most commonly involves sexist remarks and behaviors, something that in-person interactions are not necessary to perpetuate. Technology can provide a harasser with additional access to a target, including the ability to monitor a target’s whereabouts and be in constant communication, which may exacerbate feelings of powerlessness for a target (Southworth et al., 2007). Some evidence suggests that the impact of sexual harassment in the online setting (Gáti et al., 2002) mirrors that experienced offline (Harned and Fitzgerald, 2002).
In August 2020, the National Academies assembled an ad hoc study committee to build on the Promising Practices report and examine early indicators of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the careers of women in academic STEMM fields. The full Statement of Task for the committee is provided in Box 1-1.
Recognizing the preliminary nature of the data and evidence available during the course of the study, the committee discussed several key aspects regarding the interpretation of the Statement of Task. The committee also recognized the importance of defining key terms and their consistent use in the study process and report (see Box 1-2 and Glossary). In particular, the committee interpreted “STEMM academic careers” to include all faculty (tenure-track and non-tenure-track), postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students, and STEMM was determined to reference
all sciences, engineering, mathematical, and medical fields.7 The committee strove to solicit balanced information regarding both positive and negative impacts of the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking not just to illuminate hardships but also to highlight potential opportunities for growth or innovation. The preponderance of the preliminary data and evidence available at the end of 2020, however, indicate overall negative effects on the careers of women in academic STEMM during the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, much of the preliminary evidence available on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in academic STEMM may be evidence of the effects on all women, particularly working women. In many cases, the effects described also affected men in academic STEMM. Where possible, care has been taken to acknowledge if the data and evidence are only available for women in academic STEMM, or if the evidence provided supports findings for a broader population. If available, comparative resources that may provide insights into differential impacts by gender, context, or other defining attribute are discussed. However, because it fell outside of the Statement of Task, the committee did not specifically pursue research on the differential impacts on academic men or on nonacademic women.
The Promising Practices report provided nuanced observations about both common traits and unique characteristics of different fields within STEMM, as well as detailed overarching recommendations. This committee strove to provide similar insights from the data and evidence available in 2020. While some distinctions are described throughout the report, the committee acknowledges that more information and understanding about how women in different fields within STEMM were affected during 2020 and beyond will come with time.
The Promising Practices report also emphasized the importance of understanding the intersectional identities of Women of Color and women from other marginalized groups.8 The committee therefore also recognized the importance of understanding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in academic STEMM through an intersectional lens. As discussed previously, this was additionally important because of the concurrent events that elevated the discussions around racism, especially anti-Black racism, during 2020.
To inform its deliberations, findings, and research questions, the committee commissioned five papers. Each paper focused on a unique aspect of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected women STEMM academics during 2020. At
7 The committee determined that the specific nuances of careers in technology were being addressed by other studies. The committee, however, decided to use the acronym “STEMM” throughout the report.
8 Intersectionality is a lens or analytical framework for understanding how aspects of an individual’s social identities, especially for marginalized groups, relate to systems of authority and power and the complexity of the prejudices they face.
the time the papers were commissioned, the committee reviewed preliminary evidence on the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the committee wanted to explore responses to the pandemic that did not exacerbate preexisting issues (many of which are highlighted in the Promising Practices report), or lead to regression of limited gains in diversity, equity, and inclusion made over the past several decades, and that could identify opportunities and potentially lead to more resilient and equitable higher education systems. The five overarching topics of the papers as commissioned (and their authors) are as follows: the Impact of COVID-19 on (1) Tenure Clocks, the Evaluation of Productivity, and Academic STEMM Career Trajectories (Felicia A. Jefferson, Matthew T. Hora, Sabrina L. Pickens, and Hal Salzman); (2) Boundary Management, Work-Life Integrations, and Domestic Labor (Ellen Kossek, Tammy D. Allen, and Tracy Dumas); (3) Collaboration, Mentorship and Sponsorship, and the Role of Networks and Professional Organizations (Rochelle Williams and Misty Heggeness); (4) Academic Leadership and Decision-Making (Adrianna Kezar); and (5) the Mental Health and Well-being of Women in STEMM (C. Neill Epperson, Elizabeth Harry, Judith G. Regensteiner and Angie Ribera).
The following six chapters are based on the final drafts of these five papers. Each chapter provides key insights about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the careers of women in academic STEMM fields. Chapter 2 sets the stage for the ensuing chapters and presents the results of a survey conducted in October 2020, providing a window into the very personal perspectives offered by respondents;9Chapters 3 through 7 approach the core concept of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the careers of women in academic STEMM fields from different disciplinary perspectives. Chapters 3 through 7 each review literature and concepts established before the COVID-19 pandemic, summarize the preliminary evidence and data on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 from the perspective of that field, and—where possible—speculate about potential long-term implications. Taken together, these six different approaches form a single, unified description of the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the careers of women in STEMM during 2020.
Cross-Cutting Themes and the Use of Data and Evidence
Beyond their core focus, each commissioned paper also considered a set of cross-cutting themes that the committee identified: historical perspectives that may inform the current and future contexts; national focus on racism; the role of technology throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; and the organizational and operational contexts of colleges and universities, including financial, leadership, and accountability. The commissioned authors were also asked to take a distinctively intersectional lens, although the preliminary data and evidence were not
always available for this approach. Although each paper may not have been able to address all the themes, the committee considered them collectively to best understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in academic STEMM.
All the commissioned paper authors were asked to provide explicit descriptions of the sources of data and evidence that they used in writing their papers, including the considerations they used to select or exclude sources and how they analyzed the evidence. This request was made because of the overall recognition by the committee that the data and evidence available to the authors are still emerging. The committee did not, however, specify or limit the authors as to how they chose their data sources and welcomed well-documented quantitative and qualitative scholarship, as well as historically relevant information.
Each paper was presented for public discussion during a series of webinars in November 2020.10 In the final chapter of this report, the committee has elevated major findings from across all the chapters, as well as research questions that the committee determined to be of key importance to furthering the overall understanding of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the academic research careers of women in STEMM and the potential opportunities to create a more equitable and resilient higher education and research system. Given the preliminary and evolving nature of the data and evidence available during 2020, the committee was not tasked with and does not make recommendations for policy changes or actions individuals or institutions should take.
This report is intended to provide nuanced insights and “grounding” about the COVID-19 pandemic’s varied effects on women in STEMM across different institutional types and at different stages of their career as understood at the end of 2020. Academic leaders and key decision makers may be able to use the preliminary information gathered through this study and laid out in this report to inform new policies or adapt current ones to be more responsive to the challenges that women in academic STEMM are experiencing. The preliminary information and experiences assembled in the subsequent chapters may inform the decisions that academic leaders, funders, other interested stakeholders, and both current and aspiring academics will continue to have to make over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the committee identified, named, and documented preliminary evidence available to them to provide a framework that might help academia be attentive to the yet-unknown long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the academic careers of women in STEMM.
Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, confounding and unexpected issues such as racial unrest and attention to natural disasters have already spurred
10 This series of webinars comprised the “Workshop” referenced in the Statement of Task.
departmental committees, special councils, and task forces, and have identified new training needs, all of which will take time and require examination. By the end of 2020, preliminary evidence indicated that it is possible for leaders within institutions to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic experience. These lessons may include how to investigate acute issues that require immediate response and connect layers or aspects of their institutional infrastructure that may have been barriers to the retention and advancement of women in STEMM academic careers all along. In the same way that the Promising Practices report guided this report’s examination of immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in academic careers, identifying key questions about the longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can create a research agenda that will better prepare higher education institutions to respond to disruptions and explore opportunities in the future in ways that support the full participation of women. These are questions that must be asked, investigated, and answered with an equity lens.
Over the longer term, there are two certainties. First, there will be future disruptions—local, national, global, environmental, social, and political—that will test the principles and resilience of institutions of higher education. Second, STEMM fields will contribute to society to their maximum extent only if the well-being of women in these fields does not suffer significantly from these disruptions.
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