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Gender Bias Remains Strong In Science Jobs Field, Study Suggests

Gender Bias Remains Strong In Science Jobs Field, Study Suggests

According to a recent podcast published on the Scientific American website, “Gender Influences Recommendations for Science Jobs.”

Same as in many other fields, scientific jobs are gender biased. This means men are more likely to be hired, receive — on average — higher starting salaries and have more access to mentoring. Moreover, studies have shown men are perceived as more competent than women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas.

Related Link: The Gender Wage Gap: What It Means, Why It Matters And What's Changing

Kuheli Dutt, a Columbia University social scientist and diversity officer, and her team went over more than 1,200 letters of recommendation for postdoctoral geoscience positions. They found that “female applicants were only half as likely to snag superlative letters compared to their male counterparts. That includes letters of rec from all over the world, and written by, yes, men and women,” Christopher Intagliata, author of the podcast, explicated.

While the research team could not look into the actual qualifications of the applicants in question, results still indicate a strong potential advantage of men over women in STEM fields.

"We're not trying to assign blame or criticize anyone or call anyone consciously sexist. Rather the point is to use the results of this study to open up meaningful dialogues on implicit gender bias, be it at a departmental level or an institutional level or even a discipline level,” Dutt concluded.

The Equal Pay Pledge

Back in August, the White House announced the first signees of the Equal Pay Pledge, which included a commitment from numerous companies to help close the gender wage gap. The list included:

  • Accenture Plc (NYSE: ACN)
  • Airbnb
  • BCG
  • Inc (NYSE: CRCM)
  • CEB
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO)
  • Deloitte
  • Dow Chemical Co (NYSE: DOW)  
  • Expedia Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE)
  • EY
  • Glassdoor
  • Godaddy Inc (NYSE: GDDY)
  • L'Oréal USA  
  • Mercer International Inc. (NASDAQ: MERC)
  • PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP)
  • Pinterest
  • Rebecca Minkoff
  •, inc. (NYSE: CRM)
  • Spotify
  • Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS)
  • Stella McCartney       
  • Visa Inc (NYSE: V)

Other companies that have signed in, as reported by various media outlets, include:

  • Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB)
  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)
  • International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
  • Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT)

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Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.


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