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Outline Challenges for Women to Be Successful as Scientists and Evaluate Ways of Confronting Them

Autor:   •  November 30, 2018  •  2,066 Words (9 Pages)  •  4 Views

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Application for grants is also noted as another challenge for women venturing in sciences. According to this issue, it is harder for women to get funding for their science work compared to men. It was noted by Wenneras and Wold (1997) that it is more likely for grant review panels to fund men than women. The study indicated that women are required to be more productive by 2.5 times for women compared to men so that they could be financed from the Swedish medical Research Council. Grant funding disparities have also been noted as a challenge for most female applicants in postdoctoral fellowships of various countries (Shen 2013). Nevertheless, based on conceptual and methodological issues and more studies, this level of bias has not been replicated. In actuality, there have been advantages for women within the field, evening out regarding grants.

The process of interviewing and hiring was also examined by Ceci and Williams (2010) where they found that for the job of assistant professor, there was a tendency by the reviewers to rate CVs of men more highly compared to CVs of women that were identical. Therefore, this indicates a challenge for women in the process of application for scientific positions. A similar issue was noted in Shen (2013) where gender discrimination and unconscious bias against women was found. There was also greater willingness to offer mentorship to male college students compared to female students. On the other hand, over the decades, there has been little evidence to indicate that in the hiring process, there are more hurdles for women than men with some studies showing that women are interviewed and offered jobs of tenure track at slightly higher rates (Ceci and Williams 2010). Women make different choices during the application for and acceptance for jobs creating the scientific gender gap. However, it is not easy to find other concrete bias evidence with some of the measures showing that female scientists outperform their male rivals at interviews and job offers. In tenure evaluations, women fare well just like men but the female assistant professors in various disciplines.

Another challenge is based on inequalities in pay and salaries. The female scientists tend to earn less than the men with the disparity of especially high in astronomy and physics in the US with women earning 40% less than men (Shen 2013). However, such differences may be fading away for young academic scientists were at the level of full engineering and science professors, there are no significant differences among the junior members of the faculty. The constraints of women in the sciences lead to the lack of self-confidence, self-blame, role confusion, and fear of risk-taking arising from the way women are tracked and awarded differently compared to men reinforced and manifested at the organisational level (Etzkowitz, Kemlegor, and Uzzi 2000). Mixed with the pressures of society, women being the lower paid spouses tend to assume the primary responsibility of caring for the family and eventually decide to focus on family and children instead of attaining higher levels of scientific recognition and achievement. This has been done through the practices of discrimination, social networks isolating or including women and misperceptions. Thus, they need to be encouraged by reducing the gender pay gap and enabling their choice in careers.

Conclusion

Although women have tried to put up a brave front to gain acceptance as successful scientists just like men, they still acknowledge that there is a greater burden carried by women and they seek to make changes in their work styles and career structures. With the present time constrained by increased research competitiveness and financial stringency, it is proving more difficult to make changes due to the pressures of obtaining grants and lengthening the list of publications by an individual. Nonetheless, allies among the younger male scientists have eased the struggle for equality as they seek some of the same reforms so that there is a better balance between their professional and personal lives. Individually and collectively, women academic and scientist have taken the more aggressive approach to redress the imbalance of participation of men and females especially at the higher levels of academia. Even with the increased obstacles, some women go through the experiences and still have the ability to attain the highest levels of scientific recognition and achievement. The price of achieving this success, however, has a significant relation to the capacity of each woman to adapt to the high competitiveness of science. This plays the important role of encouraging young girls and women of the career options ingrained in science and how it can be beneficial to get past the criticism. Expectations and possibilities are transcending the traditional designations of roles based on gender and can be overcome through the right encouragement, support and persuasion.

(Word count:1986)

Reference list

Ceci, S.J. and Williams, W.M., 2011. Understanding current causes of women's underrepresentation in science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(8), pp.3157-3162.

Etzkowitz, H., Kemlegor, C., and Uzzi, B. 2000. Athena Unbound, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Henley, M.M. 2015. Women's Success in Academic Science: Challenges to Breaking Through the Ivory Ceiling. Sociology Compass, 9, 668–680. doi: 10.1111/soc4.12291.

Shen, H. 2013. Inequality identified: mind the gender gap. Nature, 495, pp.22-24

Wenneras, C. and Wold, A., 1997. Nepotism and sexism in peer-review. Nature, 387(6631), pp.341-343

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