Study: Deeply embedded biases hinder women in academia
- A new study of enrollment at business schools, published in the Journal of Management, highlights gender disparity in enrollment and the resulting impact on the barriers female faculty face while trying to advance in their careers — and researchers say the results could likely be reproduced in other academic settings.
- According to eCampus News, the researchers looked at professorial appointments by gender among a sample of 511 management faculty from top institutions with over 10 years of post-doc experience, finding that women were less likely to be appointed as professors and that their achievements saw lower returns in endowed chair appointments.
- The researchers, however, also concluded that the disparities were also not likely the result of a conscious effort, but of deeply embedded biases that can be addressed and stamped out with more awareness.
While gender disparities in academia may not be the result of conscious efforts to maintain a glass ceiling over women, it will take a conscious effort to do away with them.
As with many other fields, notably including those in STEM, those efforts will likely need to begin by reforming enrollment and recruitment processes that favor male students. Many STEM professions, for example, have had to cope with an image of being a "boys club" and a culture to match, as well as the stereotypical image of the bespectacled, pocket-protector-wearing poindexter hunched behind a computer in a dark room. Part of solving that problem is to present prospective students with more examples of people in the field like them. Movies like the Academy Award-nominated "Hidden Figures" have helped address that in STEM, but there's yet more work to be done if gaps are to be closed across all fields — academia included.
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