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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty
women (and men) from applying or have a negative effect on the promotion and retention of faculty who utilize these policies?
What are the causes for the attrition of women and men prior to tenure decisions, if indeed attrition does take place? This is particularly relevant given Finding 5–9, which indicates that female faculty spend significantly longer in time in rank as assistant professors, and this may have an impact on retention of female faculty.
To what extent are female faculty rewarded beyond promotion to fullprofessor? There are career milestones beyond promotion to full professor in academia. A future study that looks at chaired professorships, salary increments, and continued access to institutional resources would be useful.
What important, nonacademic issues affect men and women differently that impact their career choices at critical junctures? While the committee was not able to investigate them in this study, a fuller examination—for example, of issues relating to family, children, home life, care of elderly parents, etc.—might shed light on career choices by men and women and offer suggestions on the nature and types of supports to encourage retention of women pursuing academic careers in science, engineering, and mathematics.
Expanding the Scope
How important are differences among fields? Future studies should examine additional engineering and scientific fields because as the data in this report demonstrates fields differ a lot from each other. Certain engineering fields, including chemical engineering and bioengineering, may look very different from the two engineering fields—civil and electrical—examined here.
What are the experiences of faculty at Research II institutions? There would be value in expanding the scope of this study. Conduct further research to understand the hiring efforts and results at Research II universities (which also conduct research and train doctorates). Past research suggests that female faculty in science and engineering are the least well-represented at Research II institutions, with an average percentage of 15 percent.
What are the experiences of part-time and non-tenure track faculty? A significant but necessary limitation of this study is that it focused on full-time tenure-track and tenured faculty. Given that the population of non-tenure track and part-time faculty is growing, and that a good portion of these faculty are women, it would be very valuable to have data and information on the careers of these faculty.