A study by Yale scientists has shown that academic scientists are, on average, biased against women. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), tested scientists’ reactions to men and women with exactly equal qualifications.
In the study, academic scientists — both men and women — were given an application from a student applying for a lab manager position. The applications were all identical, but some had a male name and some had a female name.
Both male and female academic scientists saw the female applicant as less competent and less hireable. They also offered the female applicant a lower starting salary and were less likely to offer career mentoring.
“The current results suggest that subtle gender bias is important to address because it could translate into large real-world disadvantages in the judgment and treatment of female science students,” the study reads.
The authors of the study suggested that interventions addressing faculty gender bias might help increase the participation of women in science. Hopefully this study leads to some changes — and more women in STEM fields.
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