Lawrence Summers Women Are Underrepresented In Science And Math Careers Pdf

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Lawrence Summers suggested that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers. In addition, Summers questioned how much of a role discrimination plays in the scarcity of female professors in science and engineering at elite universities.

The president of Harvard University has provoked a furore by arguing that men outperform women in maths and sciences because of biological difference, and discrimination is no longer a career barrier for female academics. Lawrence Summers, a career economist who served as treasury secretary under President Clinton, has a reputation for outspokenness. His tenure at Harvard has been marked by clashes with African-American staff and leftwing intellectuals, and complaints about a fall in the hiring of women. He made his remarks at a private conference on the position of women and minorities in science and engineering, hosted by the National Bureau of Economic Research. In a lengthy address delivered without notes, Dr Summers offered three explanations for the shortage of women in senior posts in science and engineering, starting with their reluctance to work long hours because of childcare responsibilities.

Women in science

A sk Dr. Clemmons is a monthly advice column for scientists and engineers who are seeking top-notch academic, career, and personal development advice. Please read the introductory article to see what the column is all about, and then send me a question of your own! With all of the recent attention and controversy surrounding the comments made by the president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, I have become confused. In fact, I have been planning most of my life to attend Harvard and have studied extremely hard to assure that I gain admission.

But when I learned Summers thought there might be a "genetic" explanation for a lack of scientific capability on the part of women and people of color especially African-Americans , I began to think twice about whether Harvard is the place for me.

For that matter, where can I go to get away from this type of thinking? I am asking myself as an African-American college-bound teenager what real progress has been made in terms of the elimination of palpable discriminatory thinking and practices since the days my mother was denied the types of educational opportunities I have access to today?

If Harvard's president believes this type of nonsense in , when will discrimination be overcome, if ever? Should I even put myself through the ringer and pursue a career in science or engineering if at the end of the day I am still going to be considered a second-class citizen for no reason other than discriminatory or patriarchal thinking? I understand your pain, and you have every right to be disappointed, but I would never encourage you to forego a Harvard education based on this unfortunate, overblown incident.

In fact, Lawrence Summers should be applauded for publicly encouraging a discussion on such a sensitive topic. He has provided an opportunity to discuss the issues that continue to diminish the equality of women and minorities in this country. Society will only gain from it. Interested in reading how others reacted to Summers's speech and his responses? Many people still inherently believe in the inferiority of women and people of color when it comes to their ability to perform well in science and engineering, but they don't have the guts to admit it publicly for fear of being politically incorrect.

Instead they stereotype people based on race or gender, but Summers's remarks add weight to what many are thinking. Yet, if you read the transcript of his speech closely, you'll see he raises valid points about the culture of the American workforce and possible causes for low numbers of women and minorities in science and engineering posts. He notes, for example, that family commitments might make it harder for women to work the expected 80 hour weeks than it is for men, and that it's natural for members of the predominant group--white males--to choose people who look like themselves.

But, this message is lost because he makes the mistake of introducing genetics as a likely factor for the differences, even though he admits there are plenty of other plausible explanations for the dearth of minorities in high-level scientific or engineering positions. Summers clouds the issue further by separating minorities into two groups, people of color and women.

In regard to science and engineering positions, underrepresented minorities include women, so separating the two is divisive and nonproductive. Everyone needs to have access to equal opportunities.

I bring up this important point because most, if not all, of the press coverage focuses only on his comments regarding women. He also discusses how African-Americans are maligned as a group and are not able to fully access opportunity in certain career fields for a variety of reasons.

Lawrence Summers's comments drew fire only because he is the president of Harvard University. Similar comments made by a president of a college that is less well known may not have been noticed by even the local press, much less the national media.

As a result of my experience in the business world, I know that similar statements are made in corporate America all the time. The consensus among men in power is that minorities do not and cannot perform as well as they--the men in power--can, whether that assumption is substantiated by scientific evidence or not. They fail to realize that Harvard, along with other colleges and universities around the country, have produced a nice crop of women and people of color who can run scientific and engineering circles around them, if given the chance to prove themselves.

To honor your mother and all of our ancestors who fought for our legal rights in this country, you need to understand that you owe it to us and to yourself to continue the good fight.

If you give up now, I can guarantee that our offspring will be expected to bear more of the same burdens. Yes, the world isn't as it should be. But Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dorothy Height, Fannie Lou Hamer, and many others carried the torch for African Americans, using the legal system to gain a foothold for us in American society.

By the same token, Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, and others opened the doors during the women's suffrage movement and for women in science. There are many more heroes and sheroes from other cultures who have also carried the burden for us.

Continue the tradition and carry the torch proudly. It is a shame that Harvard and other top-quality colleges and universities have been churning out minority scientists and engineers for years, only to deny them access to the next stage of the game.

Still, earning a Harvard degree will open many doors for you, even those shut to white males who attend other colleges.

Don't let Lawrence Summers's remarks dissuade you from your dream of becoming a Harvard grad. I encourage you to attend Harvard and become one of the many exceptional African-American women the institution produces. You may even be able to attend free of charge! The battle between right and wrong is still being fought in America, but we really need brilliant young women like you to continue to volunteer for combat. Continue to fight to make sure top-level opportunities in science and engineering are available to everyone regardless of race or gender.

If this ever truly happens one day, we will have realized the American dream. Keep the faith. Resources are available to help you break barriers that exist for minorities interested in pursuing engineering and science careers. This list is not exhaustive, but these groups should provide guidance at different stages of your career.

By Elisabeth Pain Mar. By Julia Gala de Pablo Jan. By Ryoichi Fujiwara Feb. All rights Reserved. Resources for Minorities in Science and Engineering Disciplines Resources are available to help you break barriers that exist for minorities interested in pursuing engineering and science careers.

Follow Science Careers. Search Jobs Enter keywords, locations or job types to start searching for your new science career. Search Search. Pandemic hit academic mothers especially hard, new data confirm By Katie Langin Feb. How to seriously read a scientific paper By Elisabeth Pain Mar. When my mom got sick, I felt torn between work and family.

Harvard Chief Defends His Talk on Women

The presence of women in science spans the earliest times of the history of science wherein they have made significant contributions. Historians with an interest in gender and science have researched the scientific endeavors and accomplishments of women, the barriers they have faced, and the strategies implemented to have their work peer-reviewed and accepted in major scientific journals and other publications. The historical, critical, and sociological study of these issues has become an academic discipline in its own right. The involvement of women in medicine occurred in several early western civilizations , and the study of natural philosophy in ancient Greece was open to women. Women contributed to the proto-science of alchemy in the first or second centuries AD.

The president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, who offended some women at an academic conference last week by suggesting that innate differences in sex may explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers, stood by his comments yesterday but said he regretted if they were misunderstood. Summers said in an interview. Several women who participated in the conference said yesterday that they had been surprised or outraged by Dr. Summers's comments, and Denice D.

Women in STEM fields

Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Faculty diversity in U. The state of women in academic medicine: The pipelines and pathways to leadership ,

A sk Dr. Clemmons is a monthly advice column for scientists and engineers who are seeking top-notch academic, career, and personal development advice. Please read the introductory article to see what the column is all about, and then send me a question of your own! With all of the recent attention and controversy surrounding the comments made by the president of Harvard University, Lawrence H.

Many scholars and policymakers have noted that the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM have remained predominantly male with historically low participation among women since the origins of these fields in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment. Scholars are exploring the various reasons for the continued existence of this gender disparity in STEM fields. Those who view this disparity as resulting from discriminatory forces are also seeking ways to redress this disparity within STEM fields these typically construed as well-compensated, high-status professions with universal career appeal.

Why women are poor at science, by Harvard president

Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Joan C. This paper summarizes research that examines the relationship between hiring, promotion, and salary for tenure track science and social science faculty using data from the Survey of Doctorate Recipients SDR.

The presence of women in science spans the earliest times of the history of science wherein they have made significant contributions. Historians with an interest in gender and science have researched the scientific endeavors and accomplishments of women, the barriers they have faced, and the strategies implemented to have their work peer-reviewed and accepted in major scientific journals and other publications. The historical, critical, and sociological study of these issues has become an academic discipline in its own right. The involvement of women in medicine occurred in several early western civilizations , and the study of natural philosophy in ancient Greece was open to women. Women contributed to the proto-science of alchemy in the first or second centuries AD. During the Middle Ages, religious convents were an important place of education for women, and some of these communities provided opportunities for women to contribute to scholarly research. The 11th century saw the emergence of the first universities ; women were, for the most part, excluded from university education.

Similarly, professional advice and support networks are important to understanding the advancement of scientific careers. This research aims to marry these two lines of research to investigate and compare the ways in which men and women scientists seek advice and support from women in their networks. Using a sample of academic scientists in nonmedical biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and atmospheric sciences, electrical engineering, and physics we assess the extent to which women and men scientists seek advice and support from women in their networks. This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution. Rent this article via DeepDyve.

Harvard Chief Defends His Talk on Women

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