Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers

Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers

Elgar original reference

Edited by Susan Vinnicombe, Ronald J. Burke, Stacy Blake-Beard and Lynda L. Moore

In a changing world where women have dominated as graduates from universities in the West, recent research has shown that the same trend is also strikingly evident in the newly emerging markets. Tapping into this female talent pool is extremely important and advancing women’s careers has become a key business issue. This Handbook lays out a number of promising approaches. First the business case for doing so is presented. The challenges facing women are reviewed, followed by various programs that address particular needs such as mentoring, leadership development programs for women, work and family initiatives, and succession planning. Finally, case studies of award-winning organizational initiatives are described.

Chapter 15: Where are the women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields?

Wendy M. Williams, Susan M. Barnett and Rachel Sumner

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, organisational behaviour


Women have made impressive gains in the academy over the past few decades. They are well represented in the humanities and liberal arts, as well as in many of the social sciences and some fields of natural science, such as biology. In the US, women now earn 50 per cent of MDs, 52 percent of PhDs in life sciences, 57 per cent of PhDs in social sciences, 71 percent of psychology PhDs, and 77 per cent of veterinary medical degrees. Where women are least seen is in math-intensive fields, such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering and computer science. In US universities in 2007, for example, women full professors in these fields numbered only 5–12 per cent, and women comprised only 28 per cent of assistant professors. In 2005, women earned 45 per cent of undergraduate degrees in mathematics, for example, and were 29 per cent of PhD recipients. In2007, women comprised 27 per cent of assistant professors in math, 18 percent of associate professors, and 7 per cent of full professors.

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