How have conditions for American women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math changed in recent times? Several recent US reports present statistics on women’s participation in STEM fields, as well as recommendations for greater inclusion of women in these fields. Here we list them, in no particular order.
1. National Academies
"Beyond Bias and Barriers, Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering" (2007) presents obstacles to hiring and promotion in science and engineering departments of research universities that women researchers face, and provides some recommendations to improve conditions. Donna E. Shalala, President of the University of Miami and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services writes in analysis of the report that “bias and outmoded practices governing academic success impede (women’s) progress almost every step of the way,” and that “fundamental changes in the culture and opportunities at America’s research universities are urgently needed.”
Buy it: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11741
Read the press release: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11741.
The Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine of the National Academies compiled a directory, entitled "Women in Science and Engineering Statistics," which presents data on women’s education and employment dating from 1990-2005. The statistics include a large range of data on women in the sciences, from women’s participation in high school science classes and the conferral of doctoral degrees to employment in academia.
Other National Academies reports and publications:
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty (2010)
Buy it: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12062
To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering (2006)
Buy it: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11624
From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers (2001)
Buy it: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=5363
Biological, Social, and Organizational Components of Success for Women in Academic Science and Engineering: Workshop Report (2006)
Buy it: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11766
2. National Institutes of Health
"Sex/Gender in the Biomedical Workforce" (2005), a set of statistics, examines grant funding for research in the biomedical sciences. Statistics and brief analysis in the report examine the participation of women in the biomedical sciences generally.
The National Institutes of Health "Second Task Force on the Status of Intramural Women Scientists Summary of Activities, Findings and Recommendations" (2007) provides statistical data on women scientists who work for the NIH. The main goal of the study — which includes recommendations for improvements — was to make the NIH a more attractive place for women scientists.
3. National Science Foundation
"Science and Engineering Indicators" (2010) provides quantitative information on the subject of science and engineering, internationally and in the U.S. The report provides brief summaries of statistical data, including information about science in elementary and secondary education, academic research, the science and engineering labor force, public attitudes toward science and technology, and — of course — women in science.
Other NSF Reports:
"Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering" (2009)
"Gender Differences in the Careers of Academic Scientists and Engineers" (2004)
"Gender Differences in the Careers of Academic Scientists and Engineers: A Literature Review" (2003)
4. American Association of University Women
"Under the Microscope: A decade of gender equity projects in the sciences" (2004) looks at more than 400 projects aimed at increasing the participation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
We’re also looking forward to a new AAUW report, out in March 2010, called "Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics." Keep an eye on http://www.aauw.org/education/ngcp.
5. US Department of Education
"Trends in Education Equity of Girls and Women" (2004) contains a section on girls’ mathematics and science achievement in elementary and secondary schools.
6. National Council for Research on Women
"Balancing the Equation: Where Are Women and Girls in Science, Engineering and Technology?" (2001) presents both statistics on women in science, technology and engineering, and strategies for attracting and retaining them.
Press release: http://www.ncrw.org/research/scipress.htm
7. Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology
"CPST Professional Women and Minorities: A Total Human Resources Data Compendium" (2006) This costly guide is, according to the website, "a detailed reference book of data on human resources presented in over 300 tables with breakouts by sex and minority status.
Buy report: http://www.cpst.org/hrdata/pages/BlubPWM16.cfm
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics
"Women in the Labor Force: A Databook" (2008). This report supplies data on women’s educational attainment and occupations, with data on percentages of women in the life, physical and social sciences, among other STEM fields and professions.
9. American Enterprise Institute
"The Science on Women in Science" (2009) is a collection of articles by scholars, including several who refute the notion that women in science suffer from gender bias.
Buy it: http://www.aei.org/book/100024
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