Gender Differences in Science Careers: The Project Access by Gerhard Sonnert

By Gerhard Sonnert

What determines profitable careers within the box of technology? What are the early signs of later disasters. And particularly, how do ladies scientists' occupation paths vary from men's? whereas you possibly can theorize approximately those questions, those that visit the difficulty of an in depth empirical examine locate an more and more advanced photo.

Using the biggest database of its style (699 questionnaires and 2 hundred face-to-face conversations), the authors examine the occupation paths of recipients of prestigious postdoctoral fellowships--scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. They define a theoretical framework for knowing the reasons of gender disparities between scientists, try the speculation of a gender- particular "glass ceiling," and supply a wealth of pertinent statistical information.

Gender changes in technology Careers finds that, as institutional legislation replaced, styles of discrimination and exclusion turn into extra refined. regardless of the decline of inflexible gender-role socialization, many social practices persist that lead, on commonplace and sometimes in counterintuitive methods, to the buildup of negative aspects for ladies scientists. This publication is directed to students within the social sciences, aspiring and training scientists, and directors attracted to fairness concerns.

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Extra info for Gender Differences in Science Careers: The Project Access Study

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The Matthew effect describes the propensity for already eminent scientists to receive disproportionately great credit for their scientific contributions while obscure scientists receive disproportionately little. For instance, if several scientists have rival claims to a scientific discovery, the most prominent among them is most likely to gain general recognition. Merton's self-fulfilling prophecy-a concept that applies to a variety of social situations and arenas-says in the case of science that young scientists may have a successful career simply because influential members of the scientific community have extolled their scientific potential.

ROBERT K. MERTON Page xiii PREFACE THIS MONOGRAPH IS ONE of the chief products of Project Access, a large-scale research project based at Harvard University. The project was organized to investigate the detailed career paths of women and men in the United States who, after a promising start, headed for research careers in science, mathematics, and engineering. The project's major aims have been four: to compare women's and men's career trajectories; identify the obstacles and other reasons for comparative successes and failures; develop a theoretical framework for explaining gender disparities in science careers; and, from this research, to draw suggestions for policies that may help alleviate the inequities.

The first wave-paralleling the Mertonian sociology of science-has focused on the structural discrimination of women in various societal fields. Typical research topics include large-scale documentations of the extent of women's underrepresentation and discrimination in a variety of occupations. The methodology is predominantly quantitative, and the underlying belief in the objectivity of standard scientific knowledge remains unquestioned. An extensive body of research has found that across professions, women are overrepresented in the less prestigious ones and that within a given profession women tend to concentrate in the bottom ranks (see, for example, Bielby and Baron 1986; Reskin 1994; Roos 1985; Wright and Jacobs 1994).

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