Women in Biology
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Chilly Climate

The general delay of the careers of professional women is considered to reflect a "chilly climate". This page refers to general issues that delay progress of women in science, and is not limited to academe. This page includes a host of links and information, including harassment and equal pay. For faculty specific issues see the next page. There's also a separate page for the MIT report and Larry Summers.

Equal pay

  • Survey of salaries and employment of recent doctoral recipients, from CPST
  • salary survey for life scientists, 2002. Some data are free.
  • Number crunching: cold hard facts about academic salaries.
  • Salary gap between private and public universities
  • Faculty Survey, 1998, from the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. This provides a snapshot of over 33,000 faculty in the US. The takehome: US faculty is aging; personal stress is increasing; ehthnic diversity of the faculty has not changed in 10 years, and gender disparities persist:"Women faculty continue to remain underrepresented in the most prestigious institutions.... Women also continue to serve in the lower academic ranks more often than do men....[and] are also less likely to be tenured." Moreover, the salary gap still exists, even when broken down by academic rank: "... even a small difference in annual bsalary makes a substantial difference in bincome earned over the span of a career. For example, a difference of onlyb$1,000 in current annual salary makes a difference of approximately $85,000 over a 40-year career."
  • Disparities in the Salaries and Appointments of Academic Women and Men, a report from the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) showing that female faculty members continue to earn less and are promoted less frequently. Results and major data are summarized in a press release. Check out this statistic: "The increasing entry of women into the profession has so far exceeded the improvement in the positions women attain that the proportion of all female faculty who are tenured has actually declined from 24 to 20 percent." Glass ceiling, anyone?
  • A guide to conducting salary equity studies from the AAUP
  • Faculty salary and distribution fact sheet, from the AAUP, summarizes the position of women in the professoriate.
  • summary of recent studies about the faculty wage gap (AAUP). Also see this links page
  • Show me the money: salary inequity in academe
  • Why the Wage Gap Worsens, from Science's Nextwave Site. Password required, but free. Here's an unencouraging update: "The more women [working in a department] the lower the salaries," says sociologist Marcia Bellas, describing the findings of her study. Even after controlling for nonacademic salary and unemployment levels, which tend to drive up academic salaries in male-dominated fields like engineering or physics, Bellas found that more women faculty in a department translated to lower salaries."
  • Information for employers from the US Dept of Labor:
  • 2001 Salary survey by Science magazine confirms the gender gap, and also reveals that women are less satisfied with their recognition and opportunities than men. You can read more about it in this Biomednet article (password may be required.) This article from women's e-news includes a lot of commentary on the findings. More insights are in this New York Times article. (Passwords/registration may be required.)
  • Women faculty salaries still lag behind men, reviewing a report from the AAUP and the complications in making the calculation.
  • The subtle side of discrimination: linking faculty raises to outside offers leaves women at a disadvantage." 'Women get hit with a triple whammy. They are less likely to get offers because they are typically viewed as less moveable; women are also less likely to use an offer as leverage unless they are extremely serious and set to leave; and, finally, there is some evidence that women may be less likely to get counteroffers.' " It goes on to say, " Besides being potentially illegal, practices inconsistent with gender equality are often inefficient as well.....the practice of linking raises to outside offers ensures that departments spend a lot of energy on candidates who don't really want to move; they just want a raise where they are."
  • Is the gap more than gender? (PDF). Men with traditional attitudes about gender roles earned $11,930 more a year than men with egalitarian views and $14,404 more than women with traditional attitudes. Argues that the gap is not a result of career choice.May need subscription.

Sexual harrassment

  • Actual sexual harrassment is not the same as gender inequity of the sort discussed elsewhere on this site. However, many consider it an extreme example of sex discrimination. Harrassment can happen even in "enlightened" climates. Every university or company has policies on how to define and address such situations, and you should know the policies at your institution.
  • Articles on sexual harrassment by Bernice Sandler, including: what to do if it happens to you; how a man can tell if his behavior is harrassment; and how supervisors should not respond to complaints. While the views are those of one woman, there are a lot of practical resources here, including resources for sexual assault.
  • Resources from the Office of Civil Rights of the Education Dept. This includes It's not academic, a pamphlet about harrassment in schools. Also resources on racial harrassment
  • Resources from The National Organization for Women (NOW)
  • UNC maintains a huge links list of documents related to sexual harrassment policies and law.
  • Campaign against workplace bullying provides strategies and definitions for dealing with various forms of harassment.