“New Questions on Women, Academe and Careers”

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Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed wrote an article with this title, in which he notes:

In field after field, women either outperform or equal men : only to lag in key positions in academe (or in other careers that attract the highly educated). Identifying the causes for these gender gaps has become increasingly urgent as colleges find their enrollments increasingly female and some formerly male dominated fields struggle to attract enough talent.

Seeking to advance the discussion about why these trends persist and what can be done about them, some of the leading scholars of gender, education and careers gathered Friday to present new and evolving research projects. Most of the research came from economists and the host for the symposium was Columbia University Business School : perhaps explaining a practical, statistically based approach.

Key questions explored included the varying factors that help professional women achieve or miss their goals, why some professions are relatively more successful than others at both attracting and retaining women, and the relative significance of qualities of women and of institutions that may explain these gaps.

Read his overview of the research that was presented here, which included this table:

Percentage of ‘Harvard and Beyond’ Women Employed Full Time 15 Years After Graduation

Advanced Degree Earned No Children 1 Child 2 or More Children
M.B.A. 84.4% 70.9% 40.0%
J.D. 82.5% 64.1% 48.5%
M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M 92.7% 80.5% 60.4%
Ph.D. 91.5% 64.9% 57.5%

Via Historiann, who trenchantly notes:

I have two main questions:   first of all, what’s with the hostile sub-literates commenting there?   Posts about gender equity always bring out the trolls at IHE, but some of those comments were especially stupid and pointless.   But on to my main question, which is:   Why are women academics so willing to chuck it all in after having even only one child (let alone more children) when they work in such a”family friendly”occupation?

–Ann Bartow

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