Sexism in science (as elsewhere)

December 29, 2012
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(This article was originally published at Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science, and syndicated at StatsBlogs.)

Solomon Hsiang sends along this from Corinne Moss-Racusin, John Dovidio, Victoria Brescoll, Mark Graham, and Jo Handelsman:

Despite efforts to recruit and retain more women, a stark gender disparity persists within academic science. . . . In a randomized double-blind study . . . science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student—who was randomly assigned either a male or female name—for a laboratory manager position. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant. . . .

I hate to talk about things like this since presumably I’m a beneficiary. But now that I’ve climbed the ladder myself I suppose I’m not at any risk. I don’t know anything much about lab manager positions—that’s more something you’d see in a biology department—but I do know that I’ve hired more men than women as postdocs. If I were forced to hire in equal numbers it would be annoying but I suppose I could do it.



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