Posted November 11, 2018 12:30:30When a woman entered the science world in the 1960s, it was as a male, and when a man entered the world in 1965, it wasn’t.
The only women in the field were female.
The first women to be appointed to scientific positions were from the same gender as the person being appointed.
The very same year that the first women were appointed to academic posts, women were also appointed to the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Science, the National Institutes of Health and the British Medical Association.
But, as women have increasingly entered STEM (science, technology and engineering) careers, they have been more often assigned to roles that are more traditionally considered male.
The Gender Pay GapIn the US, women are paid 20 per cent less than their male colleagues, on average, according to the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
The gender pay gap for mathematicians, for example, is as much as 20 per, according the US National Bureau of Economic Research.
In science, too, the gender pay ratio has changed dramatically over the past 50 years, says Sarah Farrar, a sociologist at the University of Michigan who has studied the effect of gender on STEM careers.
It’s been around 20 to 25 per cent since the mid-1960s.
But in many cases, it’s because women’s contributions have been undervalued, she says.
Women were excluded from many key areas of science in the 1970s and 1980s because they weren’t as good at math, or because they were less able to write papers, which had to be vetted by scientists, she explains.
In the early 2000s, for instance, the field of biology was dominated by a single male.
That led to the rise of women’s-only journals, which focused on the issues that concerned women.
The field of chemistry also grew slowly, says Farram, who has researched gender pay inequity in STEM careers for years.
The gender pay gaps in science and technology fields are so large that, by 2030, they will almost double, according a study published in the journal Applied Economics in November.
The authors calculated that in 2020, women would make up only 5 per cent of all researchers in the US.
In 2040, that would drop to 0.2 per cent.
And in the 2020s, the gap was particularly pronounced for women.
In that decade, the number of women on the faculty in the UK’s Royal Society grew by nearly 400,000, but it still had a gender pay of 77 per cent, and it only had half as many female researchers.
This time around, the pay gap will be even bigger.
In 2030, the proportion of women in a male-dominated science department at the Royal College of Surgeons will be nearly double the proportion it was in the mid 1980s.
And by 2040 it will be almost three times the proportion that it is now.
Women are more likely to take unpaid leave, Farrars says.
In fields that are not predominantly male-focused, such as physics and chemistry, she argues, women often take time off from their jobs for family reasons.
But what about when they’re there for long periods?
The gender gap in STEM is especially pronounced when it comes to women who have spent time on leave from their careers, Fargar says.
That is, when they have had to leave their job to care for children or take care of a family member.
The pay gap also extends beyond leave time, Fars says, because there is often a financial incentive for women to return to their jobs when they are not looking for a new one.
Farrar notes that many women who leave STEM careers take time to build up their resume, and then return when their skills have improved.
This, in turn, makes it easier for them to find a new job.
Fargar, who worked in the IT field for many years before starting her research, points out that if a woman leaves her job for a period of time, she is more likely than not to be reappointed in the same role.
And while women in STEM tend to earn more, they also tend to take longer to leave than men.
In the late 1980s, Fairs says, the average length of time that a woman had to work for her career had doubled.
This is particularly true when it concerns her qualifications.
Women are more often required to demonstrate their competence in a field, and their skills are often put to the test, says Richard Linn, a professor of engineering at the California Institute of Technology and one of the world’s leading experts on women in engineering.
“I have seen women who had never worked in science or engineering or mathematics fail in math, engineering, computer science and science-related courses,” Linn says.
“Women who were very good in engineering but who never had