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From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers
FIGURE 4–1 The percent of women among new Ph.D.s, among all scientists and engineers available to work in science and engineering, and among those working full time, by year of survey. NOTE: Labor force includes those who are not employed or working part time.
scientists, limit the rate of change in the gender composition of the academic labor force. For example, even if women were three-fourths of the new Ph.D.s, it would take decades before gender parity would be achieved in the labor force. Obviously, with women making up far less than half of the new Ph.D.s, changes will be even slower.
Second, after completion of the doctorate, a greater proportion of women than men do not attain full-time careers in science and engineering. While doctoral scientists and engineers have low rates of unemployment compared to the total U.S. labor force, women with doctorates are substantially more likely than men to be unemployed, employed part time, employed outside of S&E, or not be in the labor force. This is reflected by the white bars in Figure 4–1, which show that the percent of full-time workers in S&E who are women increased from 6.5 percent to 20 percent. Differences between men and women in labor force participation add up to less accumulated work experience and less valuable experience for women over the course of their careers, a factor that is important for understanding the gender differences in career outcomes that are described in later chapters.
This chapter begins by examining the sex composition of the scientific