The grades of new college graduates who are men don’t appear to matter much in their job searches, according to a new study. And female graduates may be punished for high levels of academic achievement.
Research from Eastern Washington University has found that women working in education are more often requested to give extensions, boost grades and be more lenient when it comes to classroom policy.
Nittrouer and her team scanned the websites of the top 50 U.S. universities, as ranked by U.S. News, to build a database of every colloquium speaker from six departments: biology, bioengineering, political science, history, psychology, and sociology. They chose those six to represent a breadth of disciplines, and to exclude departments with either a very low or very high proportion of women. And they found that men gave more than twice as many talks as women: 69 percent versus 31 percent
Why did you start investigating this issue?
A postdoctoral fellow in my lab pointed out that the preliminary speaker list for an international neuroimmunology conference included only 13 female speakers out of 93 total. I contacted the conference organizers, and they responded that there weren’t enough accomplished female neuroscientists at senior ranks to invite. So I thought, “That’s a hypothesis that I can test.”
Read on, to find out how she indeed did test this hypothesis, and to find what seems to make a difference.
But that headline doesn’t even scratch the surface of how interesting this study is. Erin Hengel examined papers by economists in top journals. She found:
- Women’s papers took longer from submission to publication
- Women’s abstracts were more readable than men’s (employing standard measures of readability)
- Women’s papers improved in readability than men’s, during the transition from draft to final published version.
- Women’s abstracts’ readability continued to improve steadily throughout their careers, while men’s did not– leading to a very large gap in readability for senior women.
Hengel suggests that this may offer us a partial explanation for the often-noted productivity gap between men and women. If women are revising their papers more, and spending longer bringing them up to a higher standard, they are likely to publish more slowly. After considering several explanations, she concludes that the most likely one is that referees are tougher on women’s work than on men’s.
Thanks, L, for letting me know about this study!
This year, a man who applied to SAMKUL had twice the chance of being funded compared to a woman. And this is despite the fact that more women applied than men, and that there were more women than men among the 25 best applications.
Full text here.
The CIHR Institute of Gender and Health has just launched three free online modules for researchers, funders and peer reviewers on sex and gender based analysis. Check them out here.
The UK government has decided to hastily throw together a framework for assessing teaching quality, which will be linked to funding. One key feature will be a heavy reliance on existing measures of student satisfaction like the National Student Satisfaction survey. Jules Holroyd and I have an article about this out in the Guardian today, drawing attention to worries about implicit bias in student satisfaction scores (though also noting other problems with these measures!).
UPDATE: We’ve decided (in consultation with Morgan) that it would be a good idea to open discussion here as well, so we’re doing so. Please do feel free to comment!
An important blog post by Morgan Thompson, about an important paper.
In early 2012, Toni Adleberg, Sam Sims, Eddy Nahmias, and I began a project to gather empirical support for explanations of the gender gap in philosophy, focusing on potential causes of the early drop-off of women in philosophy between initial courses and choosing to major, since research shows that this is the most significant drop-off. If the proportion of women majors remains stuck under 1/3, as it has been for decades (National Center for Education Statistics 2013), then it will remain difficult to improve the proportion of women graduate students and faculty.
Our paper describing our surveys, results, and suggestions is now published in Philosophers’ Imprint here. We hope people will find it useful, especially for generating more hypotheses, research, and solutions. Below, we offer a few highlights and welcome discussion here at Daily Nous.