Despite decades of progress, men still greatly outnumber women among biology faculty in the United States. Here, we show that high-achieving faculty members who are male train 10–40% fewer women in their laboratories relative to the number of women trained by other investigators. These skewed employment patterns may result from self-selection among female scientists or they may result from conscious or unconscious bias on the part of some faculty members. The dearth of women who are trained in these laboratories likely limits the number of female candidates who are most competitive for faculty job searches.
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Writing about failure is hard. Even if the failure is only a perceived failure.
I officially walked away from my PhD program at a large R1 institution about a month ago. Writing the words “I officially withdraw” to the administration of my program was an incredibly difficult moment. I felt a large sense of loss, like I had just lost a family member. I was officially laying my PhD to rest.
I went into a prolonged term of mourning. Nothing felt right anymore. I felt like I didn’t know WHO I was anymore or where I fit into the world. I used to introduce myself as “Veronica, neuroscience graduate student”; now I’m just “Veronica”. Not having a way to identify myself to others made me feel worthless. I felt as if I was no longer contributing to the community or society and had become a burden to all those around me.
Many research institutions have made efforts to increase diversity among their administrations, faculty and staff members and student bodies. But research shows there is work to be done — and that the pay-off is immense. A 2017 study of 40 US public universities, for example, found that black, Hispanic and female science-faculty members continue to be under-represented relative to the US population (D. Li and C. Koedel Educ. Res. 46, 343–354; 2017).
Besides honing their strategies to draw more women and people of ethnic-minority groups, some organizations are also expanding opportunities for people from economically disadvantaged areas and those with physical disabilities, as well as trying to better represent people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
The popular media is full of examples of bad leaders in government, academia, and business. But the most common kind of incompetent leader isn’t the ranting, narcissistic sociopath that might immediately come to mind. Rather, it’s the “absentee leader” — those in leadership roles who are psychologically absent from them. These people were promoted into management, and enjoy the privileges and rewards of a leadership role, but avoid meaningful involvement with their teams. Absentee leaders kill engagement and productivity. Research shows that being ignored by one’s boss is more alienating than being treated poorly, and that the impact of absentee leadership on job satisfaction outlasts the impact of both constructive and more overtly destructive forms of leadership. The chances are good, however, that your organization is unaware of its absentee leaders, because they specialize in flying under the radar by not doing anything that attracts attention. Nonetheless, the adhesiveness of their negative impact may be slowly and silently killing your organization.
When a professor posted a Twitter thread about how Cornell University improved diversity in its computer-science PhD program, it quickly went viral.
“[W]e made a big step in improving diversity of the program. Let me tell you about it,” wrote David Bindel, the PhD admissions chair for Cornell University’s Computer Science department, earlier this month.
It’s clearly an issue that other higher ed leaders are interested in hearing about—the tweet has been shared more than 750 times and drew nearly 2,000 likes.
Computer science is “not just white dudes slinging code, and we all suffer for it when the world thinks that’s what it is,” Bindel wrote.
So how did Cornell do it? Bindel tells EdSurge that last year, Cornell had one Native American applicant, four African American and 17 hispanic applicants to its computer science PhD program, out of a pool of about 850 people. To encourage greater diversity in the next class. Bindel reached out to coordinators of the McNair Scholars Program, an organization that seeks to get undergraduate students—many of whom are underrepresented in graduate education—ready for graduate studies across the United States.