Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

In the news - Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male.

For those who think the coming generation are automatically less biased than their elders, this new study suggests otherwise - the same person teaching an online course to two groups of students, but identifying as male to one group and female to the other, got radically different reviews at the end of the course, and whether that person was actually male or female. As the author indicates, it was based on a very small sample, but reaches the same conclusions as larger studies on the matter. 

The results were astonishing. Students gave professors they thought were male much higher evaluations across the board than they did professors they thought were female, regardless of what gender the professors actually were. When they told students they were men, both the male and female professors got a bump in ratings. When they told the students they were women, they took a hit in ratings. Because everything else was the same about them, this difference has to be the result of gender bias. 

Read more here.

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