Study Examines Women’s Participation at Scientific Conferences

A new study by scholars at the University of California at Davis finds that women in scientific fields continue to face discrimination when selections are made as to who speaks at academic conferences.

Researchers examined the programs of 21 annual meetings of the America Association of Physical Anthropology. The survey found that women gave only 29 percent of the presentations in symposia organized by men. In symposia organized by women, 64 percent of the presentations were given by women.

Lead author Lynne Isbell, professor of anthropology at the University of California at Davis, states, “It’s a cultural phenomenon we have, to see men as more ‘competent’ and women as more ‘likeable.’ I doubt that people know that they are doing this.”

Furthermore, Professor Isbell points out that the results are revealing considering that the field of primatology is a field dominated by women. “If it can happen in primatology, what’s happening in other fields with fewer women,” asks Professor Isbell.

Here is a brief video showing Professor Isbell discussing the study.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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