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.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

In the news - Women best men in STEM faculty hiring study

The 'leaky pipeline' towards gender balance at the highest levels of academe has many holes, but one of the largest drop-offs for underrepresented groups is the transition from contract work (post-docs) to permanent posts. A new study suggests that training against the unconscious biases which pervade the hiring process (chiefly, that people tend to hire people like themselves - so a committee of all white men will tend to hire more of the same) may be having the desired effect. So is this the dawn of a new age? Or simply the start of a different set of problems? Either way, the debate is sure to continue.

A woman applying for a tenure-track faculty position in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at a U.S. university is twice as likely to be hired as an equally qualified man, if both candidates are highly qualified, according to a new study.
The results run counter to widely held perceptions and suggest that this is a good time for women to be pursuing academic careers. Some observers, however, say that the study—which involved actual faculty members rating hypothetical candidates—may not be relevant to real-world hiring. And they worry the results may leave the incorrect impression that universities have achieved gender parity in STEM fields.

Read more here.

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