Few Women Academics Are Named to Corporate Scientific Advisory Boards

waverlydingIn a new study, Waverly Ding, an assistant professor of management at the Robert H. Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland, finds that women academics are 50 percent less likely than their male peers to be invited to join corporate scientific advisory boards. The data covered 6,000 academic scientists who had careers or 30 years or more. The results showed that while women were about 30 percent of the Ph.D.s, they made up just 7 percent of the academics who served on the advisory boards of 511 U.S. biotechnology firms.

“Women are available,” says Dr. Ding. “The numbers are there. They are just not being selected.”  She adds, “When female scientists do receive invitations to join boards, they generally come from small start-ups with limited financial backing.”

Dr. Ding joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 2011. She previously taught at the University of California at Berkeley. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Beijing Foreign Studies University. She earned a second master’s degree in sociology from New York University and an MBA and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Ding’s co-authors were Fiona Murray at MIT and Toby Stuart of the University of California at Berkeley. The study, “From Bench to Board: Gender Differences in University Scientists’ Participation in Corporate Scientific Advisory Boards,” was published in the Academy of Management Journal.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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