The Science Gender Gap in 4 Horrifying Charts


Not to put too much of a damper on International Women’s Day, but I want to call your attention to Nature‘s eye-popping new report on the persistent gender gap in the sciences. The short of it: Women scientists have made some gains, but they’re still getting the short end of the stick.

Take, for example, this chart showing the difference in the median annual salaries for scientists and engineers in 2008. This includes all education levels—bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD—and age levels:

Nature/National Science Foundation

It doesn’t get any better when you have a doctorate, either. Here’s the difference between male and female PhDs:

Nature/National Science Foundation

The same goes for getting grants. Here’s a chart showing the number of National Institute of Health grants awarded, by gender. Men also got bigger grants; the average size grant for male winners was $507,279, while the average grant to women was $421,385:

Nature/NIH

Part of the issue, as we’ve reported here before, is persistent gender bias. Male candidates are offered higher starting salaries as well as better mentorship and advancement opportunities. The Nature report also cites research indicating that having children is more likely to push women out of a career in the academy; female postdocs who have or want to have children are twice as likely to leave academia than male colleagues.

I’ll end with some better news. At least there are more female science and engineering PhDs entering academia these days:

Nature/National Science Foundation

 

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.