ERIC Number: ED498992
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb
Encouragement Not Gender Key to Success in Science. Carnegie Perspectives
Holmgren, Janet L.; Basch, Linda
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The authors advocate for a shift from the outcry sparked by Harvard University's president that women are innately less qualified than men to succeed in math and science careers to an overdue discourse about educating women to be leaders in their chosen fields, especially in areas like the sciences and engineering. With an economy increasingly based on technology, and our future defined by science, the talents of all must be maximized. Women and girls bring unique perspectives, experiences and strengths to bear on the challenges American society faces. Noting successes over the past 30 years, the authors acknowledge that women in science and math continue to face a series of barriers in their careers. Women drop out of the sciences at almost every significant transition: after high school, after their freshman year in college, between undergraduate and graduate school and between graduate school and work. Many women in the pipeline leave before they have the chance to prove their worth; those who continue face a ubiquitous glass ceiling, both corporately and in academia, a wage gap persists. A seven-year study published in the American Economic Review found that women in the United States are twice as likely as men to leave occupations related to science and engineering to pursue careers in other fields. Rather than proclaiming a need to hire math and science professionals from outside the United States, the authors urge examination of how half the nation's talent is kept from entering and advancing in these disciplines, advocating systemic change and long-term commitment to advancing women in the sciences, beginning in kindergarten and continuing throughout women's careers. Actions supporting the success of women and girls in math and science, rather than poorly supported theories that discourage them, will enrich women's lives, as well as the nation.
Descriptors: Science Careers, Women Scientists, Womens Studies, Womens Education, Gender Issues, Science Process Skills, Science Achievement, Advocacy
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Menlo Park, CA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A