Are Men Allies or Adversaries to Women’s Career Advancement?
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Debra A. Major
Chapter 13: Barriers to women in science: examining the interplay between individual and gendered institutional research cultures on women scientists' desired futures
Much is known about women working in organizations. Research continues to focus on factors hindering and helping women throughout their career trajectories, revealing an ongoing and pervasive dissatisfaction about equity and opportunity along with the importance of professional development and institutional change. Prior investigations indicate women working in environments that are male-centric (men have the power, privilege, and are in the majority) are subject to disparate treatment and gender-specific barriers negatively impacting their ability to reach professional goals. In the last decade minimal progress has been made in recruiting and retaining women in the sciences. Those ësuccessfulí in these fields, persevering and not dropping out, often experience frustrations and dilemmas negatively affecting the quality of their careers. They make enormous personal sacrifices, often working harder than their male counterparts in order to prove themselves in difficult circumstances (MacLachlan, 2006; Rosser, 2006). What remains to be understood is how the interplay of individual and institutional dynamics impact womenís career choices, job satisfaction, fulfillment, and retention in areas where they continue to leave in record numbers or continue to be under-represented such as in the field of academic science. What problems do the women who persevere experience? What barriers continue to thwart their progress of full participation in science? Prior research in the sciences reveals a high attrition rate for women following the post-doctoral experience that is not sufficiently explained.
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