Women Are Scarce in the Discipline of Fisheries Science

oregon-stateResearchers at Oregon State University and the United States Forest Service have conducted a study of diversity in the field of fisheries science.

The study found that although 52 percent of the students in doctoral programs in biology are women, women make up only 27 percent of the assistant professors in fisheries science. The gender gap is even greater at the full professor level where only 15 percent of the faculty members are women.

The study also found that in government and industry posts in fisheries, women were only 26 percent of the scientists and managers.

Ivan Arismendi, a research scientist at Oregon State University and lead author of the study said that “it is clear that the fisheries science culture is one dominated by White men. There has been a lot of concern expressed in recent years about diversity, but the numbers don’t seem to reflect that concern.”

Brooke Penaluna, a research fish biologist for the U.S. Forest Service and a co-author of the study, adds that “we are graduating women on a 50-50 basis in the biological sciences, but the hiring rate is not keeping pace with the degree rate. We need to look more closely at possible institutional biases. We need to create environments that are welcoming so people want to stay – and those conversations can be uncomfortable.”

The study, “Examining Diversity Inequities in Fisheries Science: A Call to Action,” was published on the website of the journal BioScience. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySTEM Fields


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