Debbie Schlussel: Colleges: Male Science Profs, Buzz Off! We Want Chicks

By Debbie Schlussel

For several years now, I've been documenting how men are vastly outnumbered by women in college and graduate school admissions and student bodies. That's what happens when you have years of affirmative action preferences for vulvas.

Now, men are being told they aren't wanted in the sciences--a field where they previously dominated and for which they've shown far more aptitude in test scores, awards, and research.

According to a tax-funded National Research Council study of hiring and promotions in the sciences at 89 universities, women with advanced degrees in math, science, and engineering are more likely to be chosen for faculty positions and promotions when they apply.

From a press release abstract of the study:

Although women are still underrepresented in the applicant pool for faculty positions in math, science, and engineering at major research universities, those who do apply are interviewed and hired at rates equal to or higher than those for men. . . . Similarly, women are underrepresented among those considered for tenure, but those who are considered receive tenure at the same or higher rates than men.

The Congressionally mandated report examines how women at research-intensive universities fare compared with men at key transition points in their careers. Two national surveys were commissioned to help address the issue. The report's conclusions are based on the findings of these surveys of tenure-track and tenured faculty in six disciplines -- biology, chemistry, mathematics, civil engineering, electrical engineering, and physics -- at 89 institutions in 2004 and 2005. The study committee also heard testimony and examined data from federal agencies, professional societies, individual university studies, and academic articles.

In each of the six disciplines, women who applied for tenure-track positions had a better chance of being interviewed and receiving job offers than male applicants had. For example, women made up 20 percent of applicants for positions in mathematics but accounted for 28 percent of those interviewed, and received 32 percent of the job offers. This was also true for tenured positions, with the exception of those in biology.

However, women are not applying for tenure-track jobs at research-intensive universities at the same rate that they are earning Ph.D.s, the report says. The gap is most pronounced in disciplines with larger fractions of women receiving Ph.D.s; for example, while
women received 45 percent of the Ph.D.s in biology awarded by research-intensive universities from 1999 to 2003, they accounted for only 26 percent of applicants to tenure-track positions at those schools. Research is needed to investigate why more women are not applying for these jobs, the committee said.

Um, no it isn't. Some women want to stay home and have families, raise their kids, etc. This is not a problem. It's a good thing.

And get this--here's the money quote:

"Our data suggest that, on average, institutions have become more effective in using the means under their direct control to promote faculty diversity, including hiring and promoting women and providing resources," said committee co-chair Claude Canizares, Bruno Rossi Professor of Physics and vice president for research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

That's a nice way of saying, we don't care for male scientists. We're trying to get rid of them to promote "diversity."

But that's not good enough for this hypocrite, Canizares.

"Nevertheless we find evidence for stubborn and persistent underrepresentation of women at all faculty ranks."

I say, since he's a male, time to deep six his "stubborn and persistent" career and address "underrepresentation" by replacing him with a chick. It's only fair, after all.

The report also assessed gender differences in . . . [c]limate and interaction with colleagues: Female faculty reported that they were less likely than men to engage in conversation with their colleagues on many professional topics, including research, salary, and benefits. This distance may prevent women from accessing important information and may make them feel less included and more marginalized in their professional lives, the committee observed.

Well, whose fault is that? This whole study is ridiculous in its aim, especially when it's so revealing of what's already happened: that women scientists and mathematicians are being preferred over men based solely on internal plumbing and not on qualifications.

And that--the new sexism--is tolerated far too much.

Read the whole study, "Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Faculty."

Posted by Debbie on June 8, 2009 08:38 AM to Debbie Schlussel