Despite decades of progressive social change by an active womens's movement, federal and state legislation, and adoption of academic affirmative action policies, women geoscientists have not reached a critical mass in higher education. Women comprise only 12.5% of geoscience faculty in U.S. colleges and universities and only 10% at Ph.D. granting institutions. Senior women faculty tend to be marginalized from the academic power structure. A combination of biological factors, lifestyles choices, dual career pressures, double standards for social and professional interactions, and gender-based discrimination creates an effective filter, reducing women in geoscience departments to a surprisingly low level. There are two rungs on the ladder where women proportionally leave the discipline at a higher rate than men, One is continuing on to obtain a Ph.D.; the other is prior to, or at tenure. The present time frame for achieving tenure and promotion was established by men, for men, decades ago. Such a time frame is incompatible with women's biologic reproductive constraints, and as such, puts an unequal level of pressure and stress on women relative to their male professional counterparts. Only a significant change in the culture of science, and its traditional pathways, will create a geoscience community that has a sound base of gender equity. Strong leadership from innovative and far-sighted administrators and colleagues is required to introduce and foster institutional change that will reduce the conditions that leave women disadvantaged.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||1|
|State||Published - Nov 2002|
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