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Why are women leaving astronomy?

31 Dec 2018, 16:44 UTC
Why are women leaving astronomy?
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Title: Three years later: gender differences in the advisor’s impact on career choices in astronomy and astrophysicsAuthors: Rachel Ivie, Susan White, and Raymond Y. ChuFirst Author’s Institution: American Institute of Physics, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, Maryland, 20740, USAStatus: open access
Although the number of women in astronomy has increased over time, the field remains dominated by men. This isn’t because women are less interested in astronomy. In high school, physics and astronomy classes are about 50% female, but at every career transition women are more likely than men to leave the field. Women earn only about 30% of astronomy bachelor’s degrees, and the percentage continues to decrease at every career stage. Today’s paper presents the results of a longitudinal research study that has tracked a group of PhD students over several years as they transition to different careers. The study’s purpose was to try to pin down some of the reasons why people leave the field, such as imposter syndrome, poor advising, or accounting for the career of a spouse or partner. They identify which of these issues has a significant effect on the decision to leave the field, and in particular which issues have a stronger effect on ...

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