Maybe you’ve been wondering just exactly how few women scientists and engineers there are in academia in the U.S. Or, to put it another way, maybe you’ve wondered just exactly how much men scientists and engineers are overrepresented in academia.
There’s a new website that gathers and presents comprehensive data you can use to answer those questions. The National Women’s Law Center presents The Women’s Prerogative. You can find out how many women are teaching in science and engineering at your school – there are data for 150 research universities. There are fact sheets that delineate and discuss the problem and possible solutions. There’s much here that will help raise your blood pressure, but I’ll just note this: even in the biological sciences, where women have had perhaps their greatest success in infiltrating Man-Land, women are still underrepresented on the faculty. From 1993 to 2002, women received 45% of the PhDs in the biological sciences – yet they make up only 30% of assistant professors in the biological sciences faculty at research universities. (See Scope of the Problem fact sheet.)
The Women’s Prerogative doesn’t just present the data and leave you with your pissed-offedness increased. It also offers suggestions for specific actions you can take to address the issue at your university, and with the federal government. Because yes, folks, Title VII and Title IX are relevant pieces of legislation here.
So, do take a look-see at the data, and do get pissed off, but don’t stop there: write to your university president or the federal agencies that fund scientific research or take any of the other actions suggested on the web site. Let’s make some noise!