Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Re-reading this on "Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried"

Been reading some somewhat old material out there on women in academia.  I am getting more and more interested in this issue especially as I have become more involved in the UC Davis ADVANCE Program.  The ADVANCE program from the National Science Foundation "aims to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers."

I was pointed to this Guardian article from 2012 today based on "The chemistry PhD: the impact on women's retention": Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional.   This Guardian article has a lot of detail and links to other information.  Definitely worth checking out if you had not seen it or forgotten it.


  1. It was the little things that happened on a daily basis that left me feeling bad about myself and my research and some big things that left a bad taste in my mouth about other people in the department. It has to do with the economy over the last 5 years, with some early hires and with me not knowing where to go for help (or even that I could go for help) until it was too late. It has to do with collaborative research not being counted, and my lack of a mysterious number of grad student first, me as senior author papers. Although most will certainly say that it's all about the papers, it's more than that. I like collaborations so much more than single PI programs. I like working with others and creating better projects than any of us can do individually. I like making a difference in someone's life. None of these really fit in with the transition from Assistant to Associate Professor; they are more suited for the next transition. I leave without bitterness and with a great deal more experience. I feel so much freer than I've felt in a long time, and I'm confident that I'm doing the right thing.

  2. Despite the downsides discussed in the article, there's plenty of applicants for professorships (or research grants) in chemistry, right? So why do universities need to be worried about improving working conditions? And given the (very competitive) funding setup, are they in a position to change anything?

  3. Because, when you agree that both sexes start out equally talented, there are a lot of mediocre men getting those grants / positions at the moment.