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TABLE 6-2 Transitions from Ph.D. to Tenure-Track Positions by Field at the Research I Institutions Surveyed (percent)

 

Doctoral Pool

Pools for Tenure-Track Positions

Percent Women Ph.D.s (1999-2003)

Mean Percent of Applicants Who Are Women

Mean Percent of Applicants Invited to Interview Who Are Women

Mean Percent of Offers that Go to Women

Biology

45

26

28

34

Chemistry

32

18

25

29

Civil engineering

18

16

30

32

Electrical engineering

12

11

19

32

Mathematics

25

20

28

32

Physics

14

12

19

20

SOURCE: Survey of departments carried out by the Committee on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty; Ph.D. data is from the NSF, WebCASPAR.

Finding 3-3: In each of the six disciplines, the percentage of applications from women for tenure-track positions was lower than the percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to women.

Table 6-2 shows the percentage of women in the pool at each of several key transition points in academic careers: award of Ph.D., application for position, interview, and job offer. In each discipline, the percentage of applications from women was lower than the percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to women. This was particularly the case in chemistry and biology, the two disciplines in the study with the highest percentage of female Ph.D.s. The mean percentage of female applicants for tenure-track positions in chemistry was 18 percent, but women earned 32 percent of the Ph.D.s in chemistry from Research I institutions from 1999-2003. Biology (24 percent in the tenure-track pool and 45 percent in the doctoral pool) also showed a significant difference. Electrical engineering (10 percent in the tenure-track pool and 12 percent in the doctoral pool), mathematics, and physics had modest decreases in the applicant pool.

Recruitment

Finding 3-7: Most of the institutional and departmental strategies that were proposed for increasing the proportion of women in the applicant pool were not strong predictors of the percentage of women applying. Most steps (such as targeted advertising and recruiting at conferences) were done in isolation, with almost two-thirds of the departments in our sample reporting that they took either no steps or only one step to increase the gender diversity of the applicant pool.



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