By Sue V. Rosser

Why are there so few girls in technology? In Breaking into the Lab, Sue Rosser makes use of the reports of profitable ladies scientists and engineers to respond to the query of why elite associations have so few girls scientists and engineers tenured on their colleges. ladies are hugely certified, inspired scholars, and but they've got enormously better charges of attrition, and they're shying clear of the fields with the Read more...

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Seeks to respond to the query of why elite associations have so few girls scientists and engineers tenured on their faculties Read more...

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For example, if they stop the tenure clock for childbirth, will colleagues expect another year’s worth of publications for tenure and promotion? A growing body of research, including that by Mary Ann Mason (Mason and Goulden 2004, Mason and Ekman 2007) at Berkeley and my own work on POWRE and CBL awardees (Rosser 2004), documents that balancing career with family, particularly at the time of childbirth, is perceived to jeopardize the careers of women scientists and engineers more than any other single factor.

Her colleagues’ negative reaction to her pregnancy impacted Martine’s decision to leave the institution. The security of tenure permitted her the luxury to choose the timing so that she could move up in the profession. Women who lack the seniority and job stability to have such options when biological issues of pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing arise, often are forced into less career-enhancing moves and choices. The differences in the experiences of women and men scientists and engineers are undoubtedly extensive and well documented, but it can 24 Starting Careers 25 often be difficult to sort out origin and impact.

By today’s standards, the professor who kissed and hugged me while I worked for him in his lab was sexually harassing me. Since this occurred in the late 1960s, that terminology did not yet exist. I only knew that I felt uncomfortable when he did this and tried to avoid or resist as much as I felt I could without losing my job. Only in the 1970s in graduate school did I join a consciousness-raising (CR) group of other women graduate students and postdocs. As we discussed our personal and daily lives in the laboratory, we were all amazed to learn that each of us had experienced some form of this behavior (in a few cases from this very same professor).

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