Continuing to think on my post on the recent New York Times article on women in science and responses to it by women scientists, I quickly emailed a tenured geoscience professor friend asking her opinions on the topic. A pioneer in her field of study, this professor is also very active in professional societies as well as encouraging women in the sciences.
She pointed me to the following articles for further reading:
American Geological Insititute | Trends in Geoscience Degrees Conferred to Women (November 23, 2009)
and had this to say:
“Those of us hired in the 70s and 80s don’t seem to have provided a lot of examples of combining a successful academic career with children. And I think that despite spousal hiring policies, halting of the tenure track for childbirth, etc., it remains more difficult for women faculty in the tenure track to sustain or develop relationships, bear and raise children, and generally maintain some sense of balance in their lives.
“… I also think there are still significant “cultural” aspects of physical science and engineering departments that make them feel less comfortable to some women students (competitiveness, “macho” displays, few women faculty, male faculty who consciously or unconsciously put women down). The enrollment numbers from AGI suggest that the geosciences have made some significant improvements in the last decade, but the total numbers of students in geoscience are much lower than in life science, so there may be some significant noise in the observed trends.”
If you know of any other must-read studies and articles on women in science and engineering or the current state of science and technology education in general, please alert me in the comments.