Improving the Applicant Pool

clh at vax.oxford.ac.uk clh at vax.oxford.ac.uk
Mon Feb 22 07:11:09 EST 1993


[Sorry for possible multiple postings of this; our news software is 
somewhat glitchy lately :-( ]

I'd like to suggest a topic of interest to women in biology: that is, 
our representation in faculty positions, and how to improve it. I am a 
post-doctoral fellow in Zoology and am currently applying for academic 
posts in Canada, which is my home. I have been somewhat startled to 
learn that despite a healthy representation of women among post-docs 
(perhaps 30% or so? These are figures I recall from life sciences 
categories), that women are poorly represented among people who 
actually apply for positions.

For example, I heard of one ecology position for which only 5 women 
applied among 70 applicants. I know that there are more than 7% women among 
potential applicants, so why aren't they applying for positions?

This is one of the major points at which women "drop out" of the 
system. I had always suspected prejudice in selection committees. But 
this suggests that self-selection has alot to do with it.

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).
How can universities change this in the hiring process?
What is being done to improve it at various universities?

Chris.



-- 

Chris Hitchcock			clh at vax.ox.ac.uk
EGI, Dept of Zoology
South Parks Road		formerly: chris at psych.toronto.edu	
Oxford OX1 3PS			Still reading UseNet 
ENGLAND				for the signatures.



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