Then Now

Report
WOMEN IN PHYSICS:
PROBLEMS, PROGRESS,
AND PROSPECTS FOR THE
FUTURE
Vicki Greene
Vanderbilt
Univer sity
Chair,
Committee on
the Status of
Women in
Physics, APS
OUTLINE
 Introduction
 Disclaimers
 Problems
 Current participation of women in physics
 When do we decide
 Progress
 The pipeline
 Why not more girls?
 Is everything rosy?
 Then & Now
 Issues & strategies
 Prospects for the Future
 More strategies
 CSWP
PERCENTAGE OF BACHELOR’S DEGREES
IN PHYSICS AWARDED TO WOMEN
PROBLEMS
PROGRESS
WHAT ABOUT THE PIPELINE? BEHOLD
THE SCISSORS
GIRLS AREN’T GOOD AT MATH?
GIRLS AREN’T INTERESTED IN SCIENCE?
GIRLS AREN’T GOOD AT SPATIAL
RELATIONS?
GIRLS PREFER SOCIAL ACTIVITIES?
WHAT ELSE?
 Other “explanations”
 Women play dumb to impress men
 Women choose families over career
 Women aren’t willing to make the necessary sacrifices
 And some real concerns:
 Problem sets
 Imposter syndrome
 Perception of own abilities/ effect of low grades
IN MATH AND SCIENCE, A GROWTH MINDSET
BENEFITS GIRLS .
Fixed Mindset
Growth Mindset
Intelligence is static.
Intelligence can be
developed.
Leads to a desire to look
smart and therefore a
tendency to
Leads to a desire to learn
and therefore a tendency
to
• avoid challenges
• embrace challenges
 Praise children for
effort.
• give up easily due to
obstacles
• persist despite
obstacles
 Highlight the struggle.
• see effort as fruitless
• see effort as path to
mastery
• ignore useful
feedback
• learn from criticism
• be threatened by
others’ success
• be inspired by
others’ success
 Teach children that
intellectual skills can
be acquired.
 Gifted and talented
programs should send
the message that they
value growth and
learning.
PERCENT OF BACHELOR’S DEGREES
AWARDED TO WOMEN BY FIELD
PERCENT OF PH.D’S EARNED BY WOMEN
BY FIELD
SO IS EVERYTHING
ROSY?
THEN AND NOW
 Woman graduate student told she should follow her husband’s
postdoc career regardless of her own prospects.
 Faculty candidate heard that at an interview for a faculty
position, she was dressed too attractively and would be a poor
role model for the women graduate students.
 Male graduate students have a computer printout of a nude
woman’s body posted on the wall of the lab.
 Woman graduate student told by professor that she should
find a husband and have a family.
 Attractive woman interviews for faculty position. Chair of
committee questions whether she is a serious scientist.
 Male graduate students keeps a replica of a woman’s breast
on his desk at work.
SOME REALITIES
POSSIBLY NOT A PROBLEM ANY LONGER
Bias in peer-review
Greater expectations for publication
Less likely to get credit for work
Less likely to get grant approved
OTHER CONCERNS
 Uneven distribution of resources and its effect on
productivity
 More likely to be contingent faculty
 Balancing career and family
Know that many other women
have faced these challenges
successfully! Remember the
scissors.
PROSPECTS FOR THE
FUTURE
POSITIVE STRATEGIES











Focus on outcomes
Choose your battles
Be resilient
Learn how and when to negotiate
Watch out for the water cooler gang
Work ef ficiently
Choose service work wisely – use a mix of strategy and
passion
Keep your c.v. up-to-date
Learn how to give yourself permission
Trust your instincts and follow your interests
Know that senior people usually love to talk to their junior
colleagues
COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN
PHYSICS
 CSWP is a very active committee of the American Physical
Society
 Activities at APS meetings:
 Networking events
 Invited sessions
 Professional skills development
 Other activities





Site visits
Woman Physicist of the Month
Mari-Goeppert-Meyer Award
Blewett Fellowship
Gazette newsletter
 Online
 Women in Physics on LinkedIn
CENTER FOR STEM EDUCATION FOR GIRLS
 The Center for STEM Education for Girls at Harpeth Hall School
in Nashville will accomplish the following :
 Create STEM for Girls Consortium of K -12 and university educational
leaders, community leaders, and business leaders that will meet
annually to discuss best practices for STEM education for girls at
both the secondary and university levels.
 Initiate and host a summer STEM for Girls Conference for educators,
providing teachers with hands-on workshops.
 Develop a replicable summer STEM Institute for Girls, which will offer
intensive experiences in STEM fields for girls primarily from non magnet public schools and charter schools entering 9th and 10th
grades in Middle Tennessee schools.
REFERENCES
 American Institute of Physics Statistical Research Center
www.aip.org/statistics
 Why so Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics, AAUW
 NSF Division of Science Resources Statistics
 American Physical Society Committee on the Status of Women
in Physics
Women’s representation among STEM doctorates has also
increased dramatically over time, although it varies by field.
Doctorates Earned by Women in Selected STEM Fields, 1966–2006
Source: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, 2008, Science and engineering degrees: 1966–2006 (Detailed Statistical Tables) (NSF 08-321)
(Arlington, VA), Table 25, Author's analysis of Tables 34, 35, 38, & 39.
Women are less likely than men are to declare
a STEM major in college.
Intent of First-Year College Students to Major in Science and Engineering Fields,
by Gender, 2006
Physical sciences
Mathematics/ statistics
Engineering
Computer sciences
Biological/ agricultural sciences
35
Percentage
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Female
Male
Source: Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. Data derived from Cooperative Institutional Research Program, Higher Education Research Institute, Graduate
School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 1990 through Fall 2006,
www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/heri.htm.
Women’s representation among STEM bachelor’s degree holders
has improved over time but varies by field.
Bachelor’s Degrees Earned by Women in Selected Fields, 1966–2006
Source: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, 2008, Science and engineering degrees: 1966–2006 (Detailed Statistical Tables) (NSF 08-321)
(Arlington, VA), Table 11, Author's analysis of Tables 34, 35, 38, & 39.

similar documents