Improving the Applicant Pool

clh at clh at
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 Hitchcock			clh at
EGI, Dept of Zoology
South Parks Road		formerly: chris at	
Oxford OX1 3PS			Still reading UseNet 
ENGLAND				for the signatures.

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