HR Tenenbaum, CE Snow, KA Roach, and B Kurland (2005). Talking and reading science: Longitudinal data on sex differences in mother-child conversations in low-income families. Applied Developmental Psychology 26:1-19.

JK Thomas and KE French (1985). Gender differences across age in motor performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin 98:260-282.

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) (2003). timss03.

R Vasta, JA Knott, and CE Gaze (1996). Can spatial training erase the gender differences on the water-level task? Psychology of Women Quarterly 20:549-568.

D Voyer, S Voyer, and MP Bryden, (1995). Magnitude of sex differences in spatial abilities: A meta-analysis and consideration of critical variables. Psychological Bulletin 117:250-270.


Sue V. Rosser

Ivan Allen School of Liberal Arts and Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology


Faced with a severe shortage of scientists and engineers, exacerbated by changes in immigration policies in the wake of 9/11, the United States has renewed its efforts to diversify the scientific and technological workforce, including attracting and retaining women in academic science and engineering. At the dawn of the 21st century, several promising developments, particularly the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program, indicate the willingness of the scientific and engineering professions and the academy to address the under-representation of women in academic ranks that has continued for decades, despite federally and foundation-funded programs to increase the number of female faculty members (Rosser and Lane, 2002).

In March 1999 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released “A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT”1 creating a stir that spread far beyond the institutional boundaries of MIT. More than one year later, MIT President Charles Vest hosted a meeting of the presidents, chancellors, provosts, and twenty-five women scientists from some of the most prestigious research univer-


Paper presented at the National Academies Convocation on Maximizing the Success of Women in Science and Engineering: Biological, Social, and Organizational Components of Success, held December 9, 2005, in Washington, DC.


Published in the MIT Faculty Newsletter XI (4). Available at

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement