About Intelligent Women Research

About Intelligent Women Research.
Intelligent Women Research is a repository of published research on the situation of women in Science and the glass ceiling.

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Gender and Grant Peer Review

Gender differences in grant peer review: A meta-analysis (PDF)
Lutz Bornmann,* Ruediger Mutz, Hans-Dieter Daniel
https://www.google.es/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDQQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Farxiv.org%2Fpdf%2Fmath%2F0701537&ei=tOBEVLPQIsrKggSWvYGgAQ&usg=AFQjCNFyMMWQvCK0SOk9CKVYwCQrpTE2iw&bvm=bv.77648437,d.eXY

Does Gender Matter in Grant Peer Review? An Empirical Investigation Using the Example of the Austrian Science Fund
Rüdiger Mutz,1 Lutz Bornmann,2 and Hans-Dieter Daniel1,3
http://www.fwf.ac.at/fileadmin/files/Dokumente/Ueber_den_FWF/Publikationen/FWF-Selbstevaluation/does_gender_matter_in_grant_peer_review.pdf
Abstract. One of the most frequently voiced criticisms of the peer review process is gender bias. In this study we evaluated the grant peer review process (external reviewers’ ratings, and board of trustees’ final decision: approval or no approval for funding) at the Austrian Science Fund with respect to gender. The data consisted of 8,496 research proposals (census) across all disciplines from 1999 to 2009, which were rated on a scale from 1 to 100 (poor to excellent) by 18,357 external reviewers in 23,977 reviews. In line with the current state of research, we found that the final decision was not associated with applicant’s gender or with any correspondence between gender of applicants and reviewers. However, the decisions on the grant applications showed a robust female reviewer salience effect. The approval probability decreases (up to 10%), when there is parity or a majority of women in the group of reviewers. Our results confirm an overall gender null hypothesis for the peer review process of men’s and women’s grant applications in contrast to claims that women’s grants are systematically downrated.

Gender and ethnicity trends in journal peer review: An empirical investigation using JASIST
Guo Zhang, Bradford Demarest andCassidy R. Sugimoto
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/meet.14504901338/abstract

Peer Review and Gender Bias
http://blog.sciencewomen.com/2008/01/peer-review-and-gender-bias.html

Double-blind peer review reveals gender bias, Nature, 2008

Double-blind peer review reveals gender bias

21 Jan 2008 | 13:54 GMT | Posted by Maxine Clarke | Category: Ethics, Systems

Double-blind peer review, in which neither author nor reviewer identity are revealed, was introduced by the journal Behavioral Ecology in 2001. Amber E. Budden et al., in an article published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution this month (Trends Ecol. Evol. 23, 4-6; 2008) report “a significant increase in female first-authored papers” compared with a similar journal, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. From the authors’ conclusions:

“A difference of 7.9% in the proportion of female first-authored papers following the implementation of double-blind review in BE is ”http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf07305/“>three times greater than the recorded increase in female ecology graduates in the USA across the same time period and represents a 33% increase in the representation of female authors. Furthermore, this increased representation of female authors more accurately reflects the ”http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/employ.htm”>(US) life sciences academic workforce composition, which is 37% female.

The consequences of this shift could extend beyond publications. If females are less successful in publishing research on account of their gender, then given the current practices associated with appointment and tenure, and the need for women dramatically to out-compete their male counterparts to be perceived as equal [C. Wenneras and A. Wold, Nepotism and sexism in peer-review, Nature 387 341–343; 1997] any such publication bias impedes the progress of women to more advanced professional stages.”

Groups are smarter with women, MIT research shows By Adrienne Burke , 2013

Groups are smarter with women, MIT research shows
By Adrienne Burke

If you want to create a team that works intelligently, put more women on it than men. According to studies conducted by Thomas Malone, Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, putting a bunch of smart people together doesn’t make a smart group. But populating a group with more women than men, or even exclusively with women, does tend to result in a group that works more intelligently.
Malone shared his findings recently at the Techonomy13 conference in Tucson, Ariz., where tech industry elites were invited to spend three days considering the most important topics in our technologically advanced society. According to Malone, “It’s becoming increasingly important to think of businesses and organizations in terms of how intelligent, not just how productive or efficient, they are.”
There are many tests and standards for measuring individual intelligence. But, Malone says, until now there has been no way to measure the intelligence of a group. “If you give a bunch of individuals a wide range of tasks and look at how well they do, intelligence is the factor that the test measures. Nobody had ever asked if there is a similar factor for groups,” he says.
His research team at MIT set out to figure it out. Malone says he and his colleagues asked groups of between two and five people to perform tasks in the lab and applied to the entire group’s performance the same statistical techniques used to measure individual intelligence.
The surprising finding: individual intelligence is only moderately correlated with group intelligence. If it’s not smart people, then what is it that makes a group smart? “We found three significantly correlated factors,” says Malone.
One is the average social perceptiveness of the group members. The researchers measured social perceptiveness by administering a test called “reading the mind in eyes.” In that test, the study subject tries to guess what each person in a series of 36 photographs is feeling by looking only at their eyes. “When a bunch of people in the group are good at that, then group on average is more intelligent,” Malone says.
Also correlated to the level of intelligence of the group was the degree to which members participated equally in the discussion. “If one or two people in the group dominated, then on average the group was less collectively intelligent,” Malone says his research found.
Finally, the percentage of women in the group was a predictor of the group’s intelligence. “More women was correlated with more intelligence,” he says.
To be sure, this last result was largely explained statistically by the first: It was already known that, on average, women score higher than men do on the social perceptiveness test. So, Malone says, it could be that what you really need for a group to be intelligent is uniformly high scores on the social perceptiveness test. He says the study was not designed to consider that. But, he says, “as best we could tell from looking at the results, a group that is half men and half women seems to be the worst combination.” Instead, they found a linear correlation, indicating that up to and including a group all women seems to be correlated with higher group intelligence.
Interestingly, the findings hold up in electronic collaboration among a group as well as they do in verbal collaboration. In some tests, the groups came together online and could only communicate by text chat. “It turned out that the average social perceptiveness of group members was equally applied, even when they can’t see each other’s eyes at all,” Malone says. He believes this means that a high score in the ‘reading the mind in the eyes’ test must be correlated with broader range of social skills and social intelligence.
If you score poorly on the test for social perceptiveness, don’t despair. The New York Times reported recently that researchers have discovered that you can improve your score by reading literature by Chekhov or Alice Munro. Perhaps there’s hope for teams of men

Women in Science: The Battle Moves to the Trenches, The New York Times, 2006

Women in Science: The Battle Moves to the Trenches, 2006
Women in Science: The Battle Moves to the Trenches
THE NEW YORK TIMES December 19, 2006
by CORNELIA DEAN

The article discusses, among other topics, what is called “the two body problem,” the extreme difficulty of reconciling a demanding career in science with marriage and a family – especially, as is more often the case for women than men in science, when the spouse also has scientific ambitions.
Some of the more hard hitting excerpts:
Women who assert themselves “may be derogated,” he said, and, possibly as a result, women are less likely to recognize negotiating opportunities, and may beapprehensive about negotiating for resources when opportunities arise. That is a problem, he said, because even small differences in resources can “accumulate over a career to lead to significant differences in outcomes.”
For example, as the National Academy of Sciences noted in its report, women who are scientists publish somewhat less over all than their male colleagues – but if surveys control for the amount of support researchers receive, women publish as often as men, the report said….
Even today, Dr. Heilman said, the idea that women are somehow unsuited to science is widespread and tenacious. Because people judge others in terms of these unconscious prejudices, she said, the same behavior that would suggest a man is collaborative, judicious or flexible would mark a woman as needy, timid or flighty.
And because science is still widely viewed as “a male arena,” she said, a woman who succeeds may be viewed as “selfish, manipulative, bitter, untrustworthy, conniving and cold.”
“Women in science are in a double bind,” Dr. Heilman said. “When not clearly successful, they are presumed to be incompetent. When they are successful, they are not liked.”
Women do better, she said, in environments where they are judged on grants obtained, prizes won, findings cited by other experts, or other explicit criteria, rather than on whether they are, say, “cutting edge.” “There has to be very little room for ambiguity,” Dr. Heilman said. “Otherwise, expectations swoop in to fill the vacuum.”

Women in Science: The Battle Moves to the Trenches
by Cornelia Dean, NYT, December 19, 2006.
HOUSTON – Since the 1970s, women have surged into science and engineering classes in larger and larger numbers, even at top-tier institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , where half the undergraduate science majors and more than a third of the engineering students are women. Half of the nation’s medical students are women, and for decades the numbers have been rising similarly in disciplines like biology and mathematics.
Michael Stravato for the New York Times
Rebecca Richards-Kortum, chairwoman of bio-engineering at Rice University, juggles motherhood and career.
Yet studies show that women in science still routinely receive less research support than their male colleagues, and they have not reached the top academic ranks in numbers anything like their growing presence would suggest.
For example, at top-tier institutions only about 15 percent of full professors in social, behavioral or life sciences are women, “and these are the only fields in science and engineering where the proportion of women reaches into the double digits,” an expert panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences reported in September. And at each step on the academic ladder, more women than men leave science and engineering.
So in government agencies, at scientific organizations and on university campuses, female scientists are asking why, and wondering what they can do about it. The Association for Women in Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Research Council are among the groups tackling these issues. In just the past two months, conferences have been held at Columbia University and the City University of New York graduate center. Harvard has a yearlong lecture series on “Women, Science and Society.”
This fall, female scientists at Rice University here gathered promising women who are graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to help them learn skills that they will need to deal with the perils of job hunting, promotion and tenure in high-stakes academic science.
“The reality is there are barriers that women face,” said Kathleen S. Matthews, the dean of natural sciences at Rice, who spoke at the meeting’s opening dinner. “There are circles and communities of engagement where women are by and large not included.”
Organizers of these events dismiss the idea voiced in 2005 by Lawrence H. Summers , then president of Harvard, that women over all are handicapped as scientists because as a group they are somehow innately deficient in mathematics. The organizers point to ample evidence that any performance gap between men and women is changeable and is shrinking to the vanishing point.
Instead, they talk about what they have to know and do to get ahead. They talk about unspoken, even unconscious sexism that means they must be better than men to be thought as good – that they must, as one Rice participant put it, literally and figuratively wear a suit and heels, while men can relax in jeans.
They muse on the importance of mentoring and other professional support and talk about ways women can provide it for each other if they do not receive it from their professors or advisers.
And they obsess about what they call “the two body problem,” the extreme difficulty of reconciling a demanding career in science with marriage and a family – especially, as is more often the case for women than men in science, when the spouse also has scientific ambitions.
Just having a chance to talk about these issues with others who face them lifts some of the burden, said Marla Geha, a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, Calif., who attended the Rice meeting. “It’s even just knowing there’s someone else out there going through the same things.”
For Princess Imoukhouede, who is working for her doctorate in bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology , the Rice conference was helpful because “this is a difficult issue to talk about.”
“There is a perception in science that all things are equal,” Ms. Imoukhouede said. “But gender actually does matter, and by the same token, race, too.”
One issue is negotiating skills, said Daniel R. Ames, a psychologist who teaches at Columbia University’s business school and who spoke last month at a university-sponsored symposium, “The Science of Diversity.” Dr. Ames said that when he asks people what worries them about navigating the workplace, men and women give the same answer: How hard should I push? How aggressive should I be? Too little seems ineffective, but too much comes across as brash or unpleasant.
Answering the aggressiveness question correctly can be a key to obtaining the financial resources (like laboratory space or stipends for graduate students) and the social capital (like collaboration and sharing) that are essential for success in science, he said. But, he told his mostly female audience, “the band of acceptable behavior for women is narrower than it is for men.”
Women who assert themselves “may be derogated,” he said, and, possibly as a result, women are less likely to recognize negotiating opportunities, and may beapprehensive about negotiating for resources when opportunities arise. That is a problem, he said, because even small differences in resources can “accumulate over a career to lead to significant differences in outcomes.”
For example, as the National Academy of Sciences noted in its report, women who are scientists publish somewhat less over all than their male colleagues – but if surveys control for the amount of support researchers receive, women publish as often as men, the report said.
Another speaker at the Columbia conference, Madeline Heilman, a psychologist at New York University , said clear and explicit evaluation criteria are essential.
Even today, Dr. Heilman said, the idea that women are somehow unsuited to science is widespread and tenacious. Because people judge others in terms of these unconscious prejudices, she said, the same behavior that would suggest a man is collaborative, judicious or flexible would mark a woman as needy, timid or flighty.
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Why have women not achieved a greater presence in science’s top academic ranks?
And because science is still widely viewed as “a male arena,” she said, a woman who succeeds may be viewed as “selfish, manipulative, bitter, untrustworthy, conniving and cold.”
“Women in science are in a double bind,” Dr. Heilman said. “When not clearly successful, they are presumed to be incompetent. When they are successful, they are not liked.”
Women do better, she said, in environments where they are judged on grants obtained, prizes won, findings cited by other experts, or other explicit criteria, rather than on whether they are, say, “cutting edge.” “There has to be very little room for ambiguity,” Dr. Heilman said. “Otherwise, expectations swoop in to fill the vacuum.”
The importance of mentors is another theme that runs through these sessions. In her keynote speech at the Rice conference, Deb Niemeier, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California at Davis, mentioned several occasions when timely intervention from a thesis adviser, department chairman or other mentor turned things around for her.
Joan Steitz, a professor of molecular biophysics at Yale and a member of the academy’s expert panel, said the same thing in one of the Harvard lectures this month. It is crucial to have “someone up your sleeve who will save you,” Dr. Steitz said.
But there is evidence that women do not receive this support to the degree men do.
Dr. Steitz cited a study of letters of recommendation written for men and women seeking academic appointments. Though all the applicants were successful, she said, and though the letters were written by men and women, the study found that the applicant’s personal life was mentioned six times more often if the letter was about a woman.
Also, Dr. Steitz said, “For women, the things that were talked about more frequently were how well they were trained, what good teachers they were and how well their applications were put together.” When the subject of the letter was male, she said, the big topics were research skills and success in the lab.
“Ever since I read this paper and I sit down to write a letter of recommendation,” Dr. Steitz said, “I think, ‘Oh, have I fallen into this trap?’ ”
If mentors don’t present themselves, women may have to create them, Dr. Steitz said.
She cited “Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists” (Yale University Press, 2006), a book by Ellen Daniell, a former assistant professor of molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley. In the book Dr. Daniell describes a group of female scientists who have been meeting regularly for more than 20 years to talk about their professional triumphs and travails, turning themselves into mentors and role models for one other.
As Dr. Niemeier told the women at Rice, “If your adviser is not going to help you with a strong network, form a network of your own. Pick out some women you would like to get to know, who have scholarly reputations, and get to know them.”
Even if their work is brilliant, aspiring scientists must still get through the interview process when applying for a university job. The interview normally lasts a full day and may consist of multiple conversations with faculty members and administrators, a lunch, a dinner and a seminar or colloquium in which the applicant presents her work to an audience that is eager to pick it apart.
At the Rice conference, there was plenty of advice about handling the interview. Some would apply to anyone: shake hands firmly, look people in the eye, have a just-in-case copy of your presentation, and know how to describe your work quickly and clearly to a nonexpert.
But when it came time for questions, a female graduate student in the audience zeroed in on an issue that rarely arises with men: “What should I wear?”
At her university, she said, “The men always come in jeans and the women come in a suit.” But she said she worried that dressing so formally might suggest that she was trying too hard.
Not so, said Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a professor of biomedical engineering at Rice who was an organizer of the conference. She was wearing slacks, a sweater set and pearls -O.K. for traveling, she said, but “a little underdressed” for a presentation.
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Remember, Sherry E. Woods told the group, “there is still that thing about even male and female faculty. They are going to judge you by different standards.”
Dr. Woods, an administrator in the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, reminded the young women of research in which academics were asked to judge the otherwise identical résumés of people who were identified as Ken, Karen or K.
In these studies, she said, Ken consistently comes out on top.
“You are in a male-dominated field,” Dr. Woods said. “You have to present yourself in a way that assures them you know your technical stuff.”
Another young woman raised another question that rarely troubles men. “When I talk about the work in my lab,” she asked, “should I say I or we?”
Dr. Richards-Kortum suggested this formula: “We’ve talked about it in our lab and I think…” She added, “if you say ‘we’ too much it can be misinterpreted.” And then there was the two-body problem.
In physics, the two-body problem is a matter of calculating the paths of objects in orbit around each other. For women in science, it is a matter of landing a job not just for yourself but for your partner, and then balancing the demands of children and the laboratory.
Here the advice is less clear-cut.
For example, when women at the Rice meeting asked about the best time to tell a prospective boss that a trailing spouse will also need an academic job, they heard answers ranging from “as soon as possible” to “only after you have a firm job offer.”
Children add even more complexities.
“I am pregnant and during my interview process I will be visibly pregnant,” said Caroline Nam-Laufer, a postdoctoral chemical engineer at the University of Delaware . “I want to put myself forth so that my qualifications come through and not my belly.”
Dr. Niemeier, who acquired her own two-body problem recently when she began a relationship with a woman who has two children, suggested responding to questions about children with, “Could you tell me how that factors into your evaluation?” or, “Right now, I am looking for the best job I can get.”
“Go into it thinking you are the cream of the crop,” she reminded them.
But the speakers had little advice they could offer with confidence that it would fit every woman.
Dr. Richards-Kortum won admiring gasps when she disclosed she is a mother of four who successfully interviewed for a tenured position while visibly pregnant. She faced the process with less trepidation, she said, once she realized “it was O.K. with me if I had kids and didn’t get tenure, but it would not be O.K. with me if I got tenure and didn’t have kids.”
Dr. Niemeier also advised the group to watch for signs that a university might not be ready to embrace successful female scientists. When she was job-hunting, she said, she was advised, “if you are the first woman in the department, walk away. You can have other jobs.”
“I don’t necessarily agree with that advice,” she said. But she didn’t necessarily disagree with it either.
Still, many of the women involved in these efforts say things have improved a lot, and continue to get better.
Evelynn Hammonds, a historian of science who heads a Harvard diversity effort started after Dr. Summers’s remarks, recalled when, as an aspiring engineer, she was advised that her neat handwriting might mean she would be a good secretary. Instead, she earned a degree in electrical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology , a master’s in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate at Harvard.
Among other things, she said, universities should be asking whether a career in science demands 70-hour work weeks “at every point in time,” or whether people should be able to step in and out of academia, as family demands change.
But family issues and other problems affect women beyond academia, she said, and they are more than academic institutions can solve on their own.
At the end of her talk, Dr. Steitz displayed a chart showing rises in the proportion of women in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty. There were few until the passage of civil rights legislation 40 years ago, when the numbers jumped a bit and then leveled off, she said. The numbers jumped again in the late 1990s after a report criticized the institute’s hiring and promotion practices as they related to women.
“We now have another plateau,” Dr. Steitz said, “and it’s my fervent hope that Larry Summers, God bless him, and the report that’s just come out will have this kind of impact.”
Ms. Imoukhouede hopes so, too. She said she was encouraged by the National Academy study – “that it could be done, and that it was taken seriously, that people would be willing to listen to women bringing up these issues.”
Meanwhile, though, she added, “I try to spend less time thinking about these perceptions and more time on my research.”

Book recommended: Beyond Bias and Barriers: fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering

Book recommended: Beyond Bias and Barriers: fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11741
Sept. 18, 2006
Contacts: Vanee Vines, Senior Media Relations OfficerMichelle Strikowsky, Media Relations AssistantOffice of News and Public Information202-334-2138; e-mail
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Broad National Effort Urgently Needed To Maximize Potential of Women Scientists and Engineers in Academia
WASHINGTON — Women face barriers to hiring and promotion in research universities in many fields of science and engineering — a situation that deprives the United States of an important source of talent as the country faces increasingly stiff global competition in higher education, science and technology, and the marketplace, says a new report from the National Academies. Eliminating gender bias in universities requires immediate, overarching reform and decisive action by university administrators, professional societies, government agencies, and Congress.
“Women are capable of contributing more to the nation’s science and engineering research enterprise, but bias and outmoded practices governing academic success impede their progress almost every step of the way,” said Donna E. Shalala, president of the University of Miami, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and chair of the committee that wrote the report. “Fundamental changes in the culture and opportunities at America’s research universities are urgently needed. The United States should enhance its talent pool by making the most of its entire population.”
The report offers a broad range of recommendations, including the following important steps. Trustees, university presidents, and provosts should provide clear leadership in changing the culture and structure of their institutions to recruit, retain, and promote more women — including minority women — into faculty and leadership positions. Specifically, university executives should require academic departments to show evidence of having conducted fair, broad, and aggressive talent searches before officials approve appointments. And departments should be held accountable for the equity of their search processes and outcomes, even if that means canceling a search or withholding a faculty position. The report also urges higher education organizations to consider forming a collaborative, self-monitoring body that would recommend standards for faculty recruitment, retention, and promotion; collect data; and track compliance across institutions.
University leaders, the report adds, should develop and implement hiring, tenure, and promotion policies that take into account the flexibility that faculty members may need as they pass through various life stages — and that do not sacrifice quality to meet rigid timelines. Administrators, for example, should visibly and vigorously support campus programs that help faculty members who have children or other caregiving duties to maintain productive careers. At a minimum, the programs should include provisions for paid parental leave, facilities and subsidies for on-site and community-based child care, and more time to work on dissertations and obtain tenure.
Forty years ago, women made up only 3 percent of America’s scientific and technical workers, but by 2003 they accounted for nearly one-fifth. In addition, women have earned more than half of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in science and engineering since 2000. However, their representation on university and college faculties fails to reflect these gains. Among science and engineering Ph.D.s, four times more men than women hold full-time faculty positions. And minority women with doctorates are less likely than white women or men of any racial or ethnic group to be in tenure positions. Previous studies of female faculty have shed light on common characteristics of their workplace environments. In one survey of 1,000 university faculty members, for example, women were more likely than men to feel that colleagues devalued their research, that they had fewer opportunities to participate in collaborative projects, and that they were constantly under a microscope. In another study, exit interviews of female faculty who “voluntarily” left a large university indicated that one of their main reasons for leaving was colleagues’ lack of respect for them.
If academic institutions are not transformed to tackle such barriers, the future vitality of the U.S. research base and economy is in jeopardy, the report says. The following are some of the committee’s key findings that underscore its call to action:
> Studies have not found any significant biological differences between men and women in performing science and mathematics that can account for the lower representation of women in academic faculty and leadership positions in S&T fields.
> Compared with men, women faculty members are generally paid less and promoted more slowly, receive fewer honors, and hold fewer leadership positions. These discrepancies do not appear to be based on productivity, the significance of their work, or any other performance measures, the report says.
> Measures of success underlying performance-evaluation systems are often arbitrary and frequently applied in ways that place women at a disadvantage. “Assertiveness,” for example, may be viewed as a socially unacceptable trait for women but suitable for men. Also, structural constraints and expectations built into academic institutions assume that faculty members have substantial support from their spouses. Anyone lacking the career and family support traditionally provided by a “wife” is at a serious disadvantage in academe, evidence shows. Today about 90 percent of the spouses of women science and engineering faculty are employed full time. For the spouses of male faculty, it is nearly half.
If implemented and coordinated across public and private sectors as well as various institutions, the committee’s nearly two dozen recommendations would improve workplace environments for all employees while strengthening the foundations of America’s competitiveness. A brief overview of several recommendations follows.
Universities University leaders should incorporate the goal of counteracting bias against women in hiring, promotion, and treatment into campus strategic plans, the report says. And leaders, working with the monitoring body proposed by the report, should review the composition of their student enrollments and faculty ranks each year — and publicize progress toward goals.
Universities also should examine evaluation practices, with the goal of focusing on the quality and impact of faculty contributions, the report says.
In the past decade, several universities and agencies have taken steps to increase the participation of women on faculties and their numbers in leadership positions. But such efforts have not transformed the fields, the report says. Now is the time for widespread reform, the committee emphasized.
Professional societies and higher education organizations
The American Council on Education should bring together other relevant groups — such as the Association of American Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges — to discuss the formation of the proposed monitoring body, the report says.
In addition, honorary societies should review their nomination and election procedures to address the underrepresentation of women in their memberships. The report also recommends that scholarly journals examine their processes for reviewing papers submitted for publication. To minimize any bias, they should consider keeping authors’ identities hidden until reviews have been completed. Government agencies and Congress
Federal funding agencies and foundations, in collaboration with professional and scientific societies, should hold mandatory national meetings to educate university department chairs, agency program officers, and members of review panels on ways to minimize the effects of gender bias in performance evaluations, the report says. Furthermore, these agencies should come up with more ways to pay for interim technical or administrative support for researchers who are on leave because of caregiving responsibilities.
Federal enforcement agencies — including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); U.S. departments of Education, Justice, and Labor; and various federal civil rights offices — should provide technical assistance to help universities achieve diversity in their programs and employment, and encourage them to meet such goals. These agencies also should regularly conduct compliance reviews at higher education institutions to make sure that federal antidiscrimination laws are being upheld, the committee said. Discrimination complaints should be promptly and thoroughly investigated. Likewise, Congress should make sure that these laws are enforced, and routinely hold oversight hearings to investigate how well relevant laws are being upheld by the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Energy, and Labor; EEOC; and science agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and NASA.
The study was sponsored by the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health; Eli Lilly and Co.; National Science Foundation; Ford Foundation; and the National Academies. The Academies comprise the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter. A committee roster follows.Pre-publication copies of Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu/. The cost of the report is $57.95 (prepaid) plus shipping charges of $4.50 for the first copy and $.95 for each additional copy. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).[ This news release and report are available at http://national-academies.org/ ]
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERINGandINSTITUTE OF MEDICINECommittee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering