The Leaky Pipeline: Women in Life Sciences
Study provides empirical evidence for male-favored hiring bias in the life sciences
by Amber Mueller
The "leaky pipeline" metaphor describes the way in which women become underrepresented minorities in the STEM fields. In mathematics and engineering the disequilibrium starts before undergrad, with fewer women choosing to major in these fields. Conversely, women in the biological and life sciences represent more than half of the students earning PhDs, yet most fail to achieve tenure track faculty positions in academia. Studies show that women in science are more likely than their male counterparts to put an emphasis on life-work balance. Furthermore, male postdocs are twice as likely to expect their partners to make career sacrifices on their behalf than female postdocs. A recent article out of MIT cites these reasons and more to descibe why women "leak" out of academia into alternate career paths. Moreover, they provide empirical evidence that elite male faculty are more likely to hire and train male students and postdocs, whereas female faculty show no gender bias.
Click here to read this article published in PNAS