Cornell University Provides An Update on the Progress and Lingering Disparities of Women Faculty in STEM

A new paper from scholars at Cornell University has provided an update on women’s progress in STEM fields in academia. The study was conducted by analyzing empirical evidence from past research projects regarding sexism in STEM academia conducted between 2000 to 2020. The team from Cornell evaluated six key areas to specify where progress has been made and where disparities remain: tenure-track hiring, grant funding, teaching ratings, journal acceptances, salaries, and recommendation letters.

Despite the popular theory that women are disadvantaged in STEM fields compared to their male peers, the research team from Cornell found women STEM faculty have achieved gender parity in grant funding, journal acceptances, and recommendation letters. Notably, the study found women to be advantaged over men in tenure-track hiring.

The study did find evidence of gender bias in teacher ratings, with students more likely to give women faculty an unfair negative review compared to male faculty who provided the same quality of education. Additionally, the study found an unexplained 4 percent salary gap between women and men STEM tenure-track faculty. While this gap has decreased significantly over time, the presence of a salary disparity suggests there may be a lingering gender bias in the field.

The study authors note that despite their positive findings, more attention to gender bias in STEM fields is needed. They write, “Even in the four domains in which we failed to find evidence of sexism disadvantaging women, we nevertheless acknowledge that broad societal structural factors may still impede women’s advancement in academic science. Given the substantial resources directed toward reducing gender bias in academic science, it is imperative to develop a clear understanding of when and where such efforts are justified and of how resources can best be directed to mitigate sexism when and where it exists.”

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply