Examining Possible Reasons for the Gender Gap in Science Faculty Posts

AdamoIn a new study, Shelley Adamo, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, examines factors that impact the gender gap in faculty positions in the biological sciences. The study published in the January issue of BioScience, states that it is not a high-stress, high-workload environment that makes it difficult to be a mother and also have a career that causes the gender gap. She notes that if this were true there would be a larger gender gap in the medical profession where women do quite well.

Professor Adamo notes that competition for spots in medical school occurs for students in their early 20s. But competition for faculty positions in the biological sciences occurs for students in their late 20s and early 30s when women are more likely to have young children. She notes that the number of new full-time faculty positions in the biological sciences at Canadian universities has dropped by 20 percent over the past eight years, while the number of students earning Ph.D.s in biology has increased by 23 percent. The increased competition for academic jobs brought about by this discrepancy hampers women who are trying to balance their careers with the demands of motherhood.

Professor Adamo is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds a Ph.D. from McGill University.

The article can be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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