Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Report on Women in Science, Engineering and Technology

You might find this item over at the Chronicle interesting. It will be interesting and useful to discuss how we might apply this to higher education. Key findings:

Rich Talent Pipeline. 41% of highly qualified scientists, engineers and technologists on the lower rungs of corporate career ladders are female — a talent pipeline that is surprisingly deep and rich. Despite the challenges girls face at school and in our culture, a significant number make the commitment to begin careers in science.

Fight or Flight. Across SET women hit a break point in their mid- to late-30s. Career and family pressures ratchet up at one and the same time. The losses are massive: over time, 52% of highly qualified SET women quit their jobs. Stepping in with targeted support before this “flight or fight” moment has the potential of lowering female attrition significantly.

Antigens and other Barriers. Five powerful antigens in SET corporate cultures help explain the female exodus. Women are seriously turned off by: hostile macho cultures, severe isolation, mysterious career paths, systems of reward that emphasizes risk-taking, and extreme work pressures.

Cutting Edge Models. New initiatives like WOVEN (Alcoa), Crossing the Finish Line (J&J), Mentoring Rings (Microsoft), ETIP (Cisco) and Restart (G.E.) are game changers that will allow many more women stay on track in SET careers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What services and support do you provide for women graduate students at SIS ?

What are the assessment statistics on women and levels of higher education, support-financial AND effective academic advising, etc ?

How long has it been in place or not ? What percent of women graduate students and women faculty are present historically--that not only begin, but also those that leave for various reasons? Is this a concern or an afterthought ?