Women may still be at a disadvantage in applying for STEM-field careers in business, but in the academic world they have the upper hand .
A study published recently in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences finds that female candidates are twice as likely to be chosen for tenure-track science-faculty positions at universities, the Washington Post reports. Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci, co-directors of the Cornell Institute for Women in Science surveyed 900 faculty members from 371 colleges and universities. These evaluators were given job-candidate profiles and asked which they ranked more highly, regardless of lifestyle, area of expertise or research field. In biology, engineering and psychology, female candidates were more likely to be ranked higher. In economics, neither gender had an appreciable advantage.
Additionally, male professors surveyed favored women who took extended maternity leave over women who returned to work immediately. Female evaluators showed a slight preference for women who did not take long maternity leaves.
In an opinion piece posted on CNN’s website, the study’s co-authors write, “Anti-female bias in academic hiring has ended. Changing cultural values, gender-awareness training and trends such as the retirement of older faculty members have brought us to a time when women in academic science are seen as more desirable hires than equally competent men.”
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