Is female easier to get faculty position?

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Is female easier to get faculty position?

Post by HwaS » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:43 pm

I heard that someone said it is so because physics community think female being under represented is not good and try to fix it.
I want to know whether it's false rumor or true fact.

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Re: Is female easier to get faculty position?

Post by TakeruK » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:12 pm

This is false.

As you said, women are underrepresented, which is a strong observation showing that it is tougher for women to end up in faculty positions. In addition, if you do a search, you will find that there are many blogs and websites that show how the current structure of academia and society make it harder for women to attain faculty positions.

Here are a few examples:
Tenure, She Wrote:
Women in Astronomy:

The fact that these resources exist means that it is not easier for women to get faculty positions. You will also find a lot of stories of how gender can unfairly affect your ability to succeed in academia. A recent example: ... -a-family/.

Other examples include actual male professors with sexist attitudes (at some places, you might hear some comments such as "women can't do math!" or "wow her math is really good for a girl" or outright harrassment at conferences or academic events) as well as unconscious bias (e.g. ... t-matters/)

I know I did not directly answer your question that you seem to be asking. This is because I think your question is misguided and trivializes the actual problems in academia. When examining hiring policies and procedures, I think it's important to consider all of the factors that affect the environment of academia and how that may be different for different groups of students/postdocs/faculty.

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Re: Is female easier to get faculty position?

Post by YodaT » Mon May 04, 2015 12:36 am

It's a false rumor.

Most physics departments seem to be stuck in the 1950's, because the faculty on tenure in these departments seem to be from that era (or with a mindset from that era). Yes there are currently a lot of resources to correct this, but right now there isn't much data to support the idea that it's "easier" (with an exception to studies of gender bias, unequal pay, etc which pretty much point in the opposite direction).

Any underrepresented group being told such things goes against the work being done to correct past and present unfair treatment. It leads to things like impostor phenomena (syndrome), etc.

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