Women Win Far Fewer Academic Prizes Than Men

A new study shows that female academics are significantly underrepresented in winning academic prizes and having awards named after them.

An analysis of nearly 9,000 awardees and 346 scientific prizes and medals published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour has found that men win eight prizes for every one won by a woman if the award is named after a man. These awards represent almost two-thirds of all scientific prizes. Female academics are, however, more likely to win awards that have been named after other notable female scientists, with 47 percent of those awards going to women and 53 perent to men.

Dr. Katja Gehmlich, associate professor in the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at the University of Birmingham in England and joint lead author of the study, said, “The gender gap between awardees in scientific prizes is sadly a product of a long, systematic issue of poor representation of women in sciences. Despite decades of efforts to rebalance this issue, our study shows that women are still poorly recognized for their scientific contributions, and men are far more likely to win prizes and awards, in particular, if those awards are named after other men. It seems particularly shocking to me that awards named after women still see more than half of prizes going to men because of how significantly skewed the data is for male-named awards, where men have won 88 perent of them.”

The full study, “How We Name Academic Prizes Matters,” was published on the website of the journal Nature Human Behaviour. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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