. "3 Gender Differences in Academic Hiring." Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2010.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty
consistently lower than the percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to women. There are, however, substantial differences among the disciplines in how much they are lower. In electrical engineering, mathematics, and physics, the percentage of women applying for faculty positions is only modestly lower than the percentage of women receiving Ph.D.s. However, in the fields with the largest representation of women with Ph.D.s—biology and chemistry—the percentage of Ph.D.s awarded to women exceeds the percentage of applications from women by a large amount. This finding should be further explored. Possible explanations that might be tested in follow-on research include:
Female biology and chemistry doctorates prefer occupations outside of research-intensive institutions relative to men (for example, in higher education, but in liberal arts colleges; in education as K-12 teachers; or in industry or government);
As the percentage of doctorates awarded to women increases, departments may make fewer special efforts to encourage women to apply for faculty positions; or
Female Ph.D.s in biology and chemistry apply for fewer jobs than women in other fields relative to men.
The first hypothesis may also, to a greater or lesser extent, hold for the smaller disparities found in civil engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, and physics.
Another study examining the percentage of women in Ph.D. pools relative to the percentage of female faculty also found mixed results (NAS, NAE, and IOM, 2007). Comparing data for faculty who were tenure-track or tenured in 2003 with earlier averages of doctorates revealed that in engineering, chemistry, and the physical sciences, there was a smaller percentage of women in the Ph.D. pool than in assistant professor positions, while in the life sciences, computer sciences, and mathematics, the percentage of women in the pool of doctorates was larger. Comparing the doctoral pool to associate professors in engineering and life sciences, the percentage of women in the pool exceeded the percentage of female associate professors. In computer science, chemistry, the physical sciences, and mathematics, there was a greater percentage of female associate professors. Considering full professors, the percentage of female full professors in most fields was smaller than the percentage of women in the relevant doctoral pool.
Having summarized earlier in this chapter the literature on the factors that are potentially associated with the percentage of applicants who are women, we now investigate whether the data on hiring collected in our surveys support the hypotheses put forth by earlier investigators. In our applicant models, the fol-