Improving the Applicant Pool

Sarah Pallas pallas at
Mon Feb 22 11:33:15 EST 1993

In article <1993Feb19.135409.12130 at> clh at writes:

>So my questions are this: Why do we (anecdotally or from studies) 
>think women are dropping out at this stage more than men?
>(there was an interesting article in American Scientist a few years 
>ago about this).

It is my impression that a big reason is kind of a Catch-22.  Young
women don't see very many other women in positions of power (faculty),
and so they have a hard time seeing themselves there.  Also, they've
been told they have to choose between career and family if they stay
in academics (which isn't true if they have a spouse who is a real
partner).  Other reasons may include lack of the moral support
necessary for surviving the job-getting process, and lack of enough
self-confidence to think they could make it if they got a job. I think
men probably have that trouble too, but they work through it more
easily in general, or don't let themselves opt out.

So universities will have more women to hire if they hire more women!
And Ph.D. and postdoc mentors should support all their students well,
and expect just as much from the women as from the men.  Of course,
on-site child care would be a big help (why this is seen as a women's
issue I don't understand.  Don't babies have daddies these days?).

Sarah Pallas 
(new) Asst. Prof.

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