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Medical News and Perspectives
October 25, 2006

National Academies: Barriers and Widespread Bias Harm Women in Science, Engineering

JAMA. 2006;296(16):1957. doi:10.1001/jama.296.16.1957

The barriers to hiring and promotion that women face in the fields of science and engineering are depriving the United States of an important source of talent, according to a new report from the National Academies (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11741.html).

Four decades ago, women made up 3% of the US scientific and technical work force, but by 2003 they accounted for nearly one fifth. In addition, women have earned more than half of the bachelor's degrees in science and engineering since 2000. However, among individuals earning PhDs in these subjects, 4 times as many men as women hold full-time faculty positions, and minority women with doctorates are less likely than white women or men of any racial or ethnic group to be in tenured positions.

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