A pair of researchers from Cornell decided to test the theory that there is a bias against women pursuing academic careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and found that there is none. “Results revealed a 2:1 preference for women by faculty of both genders across both math-intensive and non-math-intensive fields, with the single exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference,” Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci wrote in an article published this year.
They surveyed “873 tenure-track faculty (439 male, 434 female) from biology, engineering, economics and psychology at 371 universities/colleges from 50 US states and the District of Columbia.”
“In the main experiment, 363 faculty members evaluated narrative summaries describing hypothetical female and male applicants for tenure-track assistant professorships who shared the same lifestyle (e.g., single without children, married with children). Applicants profiles were systematically varied to disguise identically rated scholarships; profiles were counterbalanced by gender across faculty to enable between-faculty comparisons of hiring preferences for identically qualified women versus men.”
Further, “In follow-up experiments, 144 faculty evaluated competing applicants with differing lifestyles (e.g., divorced mother vs. married father), and 204 faculty compared same-gender candidates with children, but differing in whether they took 1-y-parental leaves in graduate school. Women preferred divorced mothers to married fathers; men preferred mothers who took leaves to mothers who did not.”
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