Affirmative Action for women in science?

The NYT raises the question. Several of the NYT panelists mention mentoring and programs to get girls interested in science, as an alternative to heavy handed quotas and hiring preferences. UO has a lot of successful fill the pipeline programs to do that, and is building more. Meanwhile here is some actual data on the UO faculty. CAS Science is at the bottom, and while its TTF is more than representative of the pool (national PHD’s) when it comes to minorities, it is far behind on women. Compare columns 1 and 3. I’ve written before about UO’s UMRP and its peculiar and probably illegal AA efforts. To top off the idiocy, UO’s UMRP does not even apply to women, just to minorities. 10/1/2012.

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Affirmative Action for women in science?

  1. Anonymous says:

    The Yale study that triggered this discussion was a randomized experiment that showed bias in the hiring decision process, not the pipeline. Presented with applications that were identical except for the name at the top, both male and female scientists judged “Jennifer” to be less competent and hireable, less worthy of mentoring, and worth a lower starting salary than “John.”

    “Programs to get girls interested in science” won’t fix biased hiring decisions. Neither, of course, will “heavy handed quotas and hiring preferences.” I hope we can think of some better choices than a non sequitur and a pejorative, or else we’re screwed. Sorry girls!

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course discrimination is serious problem. I did not see anyone here imply anything to the contrary, but it does not follow that improving the pipeline will not do anything to fix hiring decisions. it will not do everything, does anything?, but a stronger pipeline in both quantity and quality will make the ‘cost’ of making discriminatory decisions higher because those making biased hiring decisions will be forced to give up higher and higher potential female hires to hire increasingly less qualified males relative to the pool of potential female hires. The work to be done is on more than one front, isn’t it?

  2. Anonymous says:

    While the numbers say there is much to be done, the “available percentage” has in the past at least been a poor metric, because it was just the number of PhDs granted recently, not the number of people with post-doc experience. Because many women leave academic research at the post-doc point, there will remain a gap between existing and available percentage until ways are found to balance a science career with other life goals.