Study Finds Women Are Less Likely to Win Academic Awards Named After Men Than Other Academic Awards

A new study by researchers at the University of Birmingham in England, that recently was presented at the European Geoscience Union general assembly in Vienna, finds that women are less likely to win academic awards that are named after men compared to other academic awards.

The study examined more than 9,000 recipients of major awards in Earth and environmental sciences and cardiology aw well as awards given out by major scientific societies in the United States and the United Kingdom going back to the eighteenth century. The researchers found that women received 15 percent of the total number of awards given out. But they were only 12 percent of the winners of awards that were named after men. Women won 24 percent of the awards that did not honor a particular individual.

Women earned 32 percent of all awards that honored both a man and a woman. Men won a slight majority of all awards that were named after a woman. Less than 10 percent of all awards were named after women, with almost all awards named after female scientists being established in the last two years.

The authors state that “given the continued lack in female award recipients, the question arises what role the current titles and names of existing awards, and the history of their previous recipients may play for the identification of potential nominations.”

The full study, “Does the Persistent Lack of Female Recipients of Academic Awards Have to Surprise Us If Few Scientific Prizes and Medals Are Named After Women?” may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySTEM Fields

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