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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v8.i2.40
29 pages

KEY BARRIERS FOR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS SEEKING TO RETAIN FEMALE SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS: FAMILY-UNFRIENDLY POLICIES. LOW NUMBERS, STEREOTYPES, AND HARASSMENT

Sue V. Rosser
San Francisco State University
Also Professor of Sociology and Women and Gender Studies
Eliesh O'Neil Lane
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332

ABSTRACT

At the end of a special meeting held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in January 2001, a statement released on behalf of the most prestigious U. S. research universities suggested that institutional harriers have prevented viomen from having a level playing field in science and engineering. In 2001, the National Science Foundation initiated a new awards program, ADVANCE, focusing on institutional rather than individual solutions to empower women to participate fully in science and technology. In this study, the authors evaluate survey responses from almost 400 Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education awardees from fiscal years 1997 to 2000 to elucidate problems and opportunities identified by female scientists and engineers. Besides other issues, the respondents identified balancing a career and a family as the most significant challenge facing female scientists and engineers today. Institutions must seek to remove or at least lower these and other harriers to attract and retain female scientists and engineers. Grouping the survey responses into four categories forms the basis for four corresponding policy areas, which could be addressed at the institutional level to mitigate the difficulties and challenges currently experienced by female scientists and engineers.


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