Women’s Careers in Science: Lessons from the Global Survey of Physicists

Women’s Careers in Science: Lessons from the Global Survey of Physicists

Previous studies of women in physics mostly focused on the lack of women in the field. The Global Survey of Physics goes beyond the obvious shortage of women and shows that there are much deeper issues. For the first time, a multinational study was conducted with 15000 respondents from 130 countries, showing that problems for women in physics transcend national borders. Across all countries, women have fewer resources and opportunities and are more affected by cultural expectations concerning child care. We show that limited resources and opportunities hurt career progress, and because women...

Date

October 21, 2014 - 10:00am

Location

Marcus Nano 1117

Previous studies of women in physics mostly focused on the lack of women in the field. The Global Survey of Physics goes beyond the obvious shortage of women and shows that there are much deeper issues. For the first time, a multinational study was conducted with 15000 respondents from 130 countries, showing that problems for women in physics transcend national borders. Across all countries, women have fewer resources and opportunities and are more affected by cultural expectations concerning child care. We show that limited resources and opportunities hurt career progress, and because women have fewer opportunities and resources, their careers progress more slowly. We also show the disproportionate effects of children on women physicists' careers. Cultural expectations about home and family are difficult to change. However, for women to have successful outcomes and advance in physics, they must have equal access to resources and opportunities.

An article based on these findings can be found at: http://www.physicstoday.org/resource/1/phtoad/v65/i2/p47_s1

Bio:

Rachel Ivie is Associate Director of the Statistical Research Center (SRC) at the American Institute of Physics. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she specialized in research methods, statistics, gender, and the life course. Over the past sixteen years at SRC, she has studied careers of physicists, particularly the careers of women in physics. She authored the first ever thematic report on women in physics (Ivie and Stowe, 2000), bringing together data from AIP’s surveys with data from outside sources. She has designed and carried out numerous studies: from the impact of tenure and promotion practices on male and female faculty to a longitudinal study of astronomy graduate students.