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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers
The transition from the Ph.D. to the full-time labor force is a critical point at which relatively, more women than men are lost. To understand this substantial loss of women who have completed their graduate education, requires an examination of postdoctoral fellowships and the effects of marriage and family. Our evidence clearly indicates that having young children is related to the entry of women into the full time labor force.
Throughout the career, proportionally more women than men leave science and engineering entirely. More information is need on why these highly trained scientists are lost. Here also constraints imposed by familial obligations, career interruptions, and constraints on mobility need to be considered. To this end, the SDR should be revised to collect additional information particularly relevant to understanding the loss of a disproportionate number of women from the full time S&E labor force. Questions on reasons for part time employment should be expanded and new questions on reasons for not being in the labor force or working outside of S&E should be added.
Finally, while women remain underrepresented, most minority groups are even less well represented. Detailed studies of the situation facing minorities are needed. Given the small numbers of minority scientists and engineers, these studies may require the collection of new data.