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Scholarly Articles

Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend is a National Academy publication on being a mentor to students in science and engineering.

Careers in Science and Engineering is a National Academy publication, a student planning guide to grad school and beyond.

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering provides statistics on this area; a digest is provided every 2 years.

Elite male faculty in the life sciences employ fewer women Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 6/05/2014
Women make up over one-half of all doctoral recipients in biology-related fields but are vastly underrepresented at the faculty level in the life sciences. To explore the current causes of women’s underrepresentation in biology, Jason M. Sheltzera and Joan C. Smith collected publicly accessible data from university directories and faculty websites about the composition of biology laboratories at leading academic institutions in the United States. They found that male faculty members tended to employ fewer female graduate students and postdoctoral researchers (postdocs) than female faculty members did. Furthermore, elite male faculty—those whose research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who had been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, or who had won a major career award—trained significantly fewer women than other male faculty members. In contrast, elite female faculty did not exhibit a gender bias in employment patterns.

Diversity: A Nature and Scientific American Special Issue Nature 9-16-2014
Greater diversity in science's workforce and ideas is long overdue. Nature, in this special issue with Scientific American, explores connections between diversity and the rigor of research—including how marginalization affects study design—and discusses persistent, misguided assumptions. The message is clear: Inclusive science is better science.

News Articles

Damning With Faint Praise Inside Higher Ed, October 6, 2016.
Study suggests that language recommendation writers use to describe women may disadvantage them as job candidates, portraying them as less dynamic and excellent than male counterparts.

Thanks to the Glass Ceiling Breakers, Science, September 2, 2016.

Obama’s Female Staffers Came Up With a Genius Strategy to Make Sure Their Voices Were Heard New York Magazine, September 13, 2016.

"Belonging" can help keep talented female students in STEM classes NSF News, August 26, 2016
CNS Researcher Nilanjana Dasgupta's work has led to recommendations for schools, other organizations.

XY Bias: How Male Biology Students See Their Female Peers The Atlantic, February 16, 2016
In three large classes, men overrated the abilities of male students above equally talented and outspoken women.

Is the Professor Bossy or Brilliant? Much Depends on Gender New York Times, February 6, 2015
An interactive chart of words taken from millions of student reviews of their instructors offers a vivid illustration of unconscious gender bias.

Best Way for Professors to Get Good Student Evaluations? Be Male XX Factor, Slate.com, December 9, 2014
A new study from North Carolina State University has further proof that student evaluations of professors is inherently biased against female professors. The researchers asked two online course instructors, one male and one female, to teach two classes. Each professor presented as his or her own gender to one class and the opposite to the other. Students penalized the perceived female professor in all 12 categories, including in qualities that women are usually assumed to excel at, such as being caring and respectful.

Women and minorities in physics WMUA-91.1 FM's "Undercurrents" with Jennie Traschen, October 21, 2014
Undergraduates and faculty from the UMass Amherst Physics Department used a round table discussion of women and minorities in their field to discuss their love for their field, along with questions such as is the playing field level? Does subtle—or overt—bias affect students, and does such bias continue to affect the careers of women and minority scientists? The radio broadcast is available, as is a brief write-up of the discussion.

How do male scientists balance the demands of work and family? Research Digest, British Psychological Society, September 2014
A new study by Sarah Damaske of Pennsylvania State University.

Productivity or Sexism? Insider Higher Ed 8-18-2014.
In discussions about the gender gap among tenured professors at research universities, there is little dispute that there are far more men than women with tenure in most disciplines. But why? Many have speculated that men are outperforming women in research, which is particularly valued over teaching and service at research universities. With women (of those with children) shouldering a disproportionate share of child care, the theory goes, they may not be able to keep up with publishing and research to the same extent as their male counterparts. A recent study finds that those assumptions may be untrue in some disciplines.

The challenges of being a woman scientist - in Lego The Guardian 8-14-2014.
An archaeologist has gained thousands of Twitter followers after posting photographs reflecting the daily frustrations of academic life using Lego figures. Donna Yates, from the University of Glasgow, takes pictures of the woman scientist characters from a new Lego set called the Research Institute. She arranges them in academic scenarios and posts her pics to the @LegoAcademics account. The account has gained 15,000 followers since her first tweet on Friday, August 8.

Harassment in Science, ReplicatedThe New York Times 8/12/2014
Writer By Christie Aschwanden writes about recent research the persistent prevalence of sexual harassment at field sites and in universities.

"Subtle" Harassment Woman of Science 5/28/14
"Subtle" harassment is not just annoying, it affects women pretty much daily. It's pervasive and it wears you down.

Negotiations Woman of Science 5/28/14
Tips on negotiating for a first job in academia.

Labs Are Told to Start Including a Neglected Variable: Females The New York Times 5/14/2014
A survey of more than 6,000 faculty members, across a range of disciplines, has found that when prospective graduate students reach out for guidance, white males are the most likely to get attention. The survey also found that public university faculty members are much more likely than their private counterparts to respond equally to students of varying backgrounds. And the greatest victims of discrimination may be those with names that suggest they are Chinese women.

The Bias for White Men Inside Higher Ed 4/20/2014
A survey of more than 6,000 faculty members, across a range of disciplines, has found that when prospective graduate students reach out for guidance, white males are the most likely to get attention. The survey also found that public university faculty members are much more likely than their private counterparts to respond equally to students of varying backgrounds. And the greatest victims of discrimination may be those with names that suggest they are Chinese women.

Grating Expectations Inside Higher Ed 4/20/2014
A new study examines some of the problems faced by female college administrators and details their feelings that women face more scrutiny and different expectations than men.

Networks and the STEM Gender Gap Inside Higher Edu 4/04/2014
The recent threat to boycott an upcoming international chemistry conference because of its all-male speaking program reminds us how far we still have to go when it comes to women in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The challenge remains that many STEM professions remain male-dominated, especially in academia.

Books

How to Say It For Women: Communicating with Confidence and Power Using the Language of Success and The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense at Work by Phyllis Mindell. This book is packed with practical tips, techniques, and examples that arm women to grapple with every communication issue, from choosing the right word or sentence to speaking, reading, writing, leading, dressing, and interviewing effectively.

Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia edited by Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. Gonzalez, and Angela P. Harris. Through personal narratives, qualitative empirical studies, and scholarly essays, the book examines the obstacles that women of color face on the road to tenure and beyond, and concludes with practical advice for deans, department heads, and provosts on steps they can take to make the road easier.

Websites

Science magazine's Careers offers career advice and explorations of the many different science issues of today.

Advancing Women in the Workplace is a really useful website.

Women of NASA shares profiles of women employed at NASA and related careers.

Blogs

Women in Science and Engineering: 50 Must-Read Bloggers

Woman of Science Blog is written by a professor of hard science in a research intensive university and is meant to help people, especially women, navigate the system of academic science.

Female Science Professor is the musings of a science professor at a large research university.

Please email Wendy Varner, wvarner@cns.umass.edu, with additional resources that you have found interesting and useful.