Upping the Numbers
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Mary C. Mattis
Chapter 13: The Representation and Experience of Women Faculty in STEM Fields
13. The representation and experience of women faculty in STEM ﬁelds Xiangfen Liang and Diana Bilimoria The overall proportion of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations has grown over time, but has consistently remained low. Women constituted 12 percent of STEM occupations in 1980 and 25 percent in 2000, with a growth of only 3 percentage points between 1990 and 2000 (National Science Foundation, 2006a, chap. 3). In 2003, women earned 38 percent of science and engineering (S&E) degrees and 58 percent of non-S&E doctoral degrees, up from 8 percent and 18 percent respectively in 1966 (National Science Foundation, 2006b, Figure F-1). What are the implications of these overall numbers regarding the representation of women faculty in STEM ﬁelds in academic settings? What do we know about the everyday experiences of women faculty within STEM departments in universities? What concerted actions can be undertaken to address the issues of representation and experiences of women faculty, which would substantially transform academic institutions and enhance the recruitment, advancement and retention of women faculty in STEM disciplines? We address these and other related questions in this chapter, employing research ﬁndings drawn from multiple sources to illustrate women’s representation and experiences in STEM ﬁelds. In the following sections, we ﬁrst provide an overview of the representation of women faculty in academic STEM. Next we discuss general ﬁndings about the everyday experiences reported by women faculty across STEM disciplines, particularly in research universities. Finally, we provide remedies and solutions to...
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