Tech & Work

Are you paid less and promoted more slowly? You must be a woman

As part of a minority in a male-dominated space, my ears are always open to information about women in IT. Why is IT dominated by men? Well, part of the reason could be attributed to the barrier that's placed on women trying to achieve high-level science, math, and engineering jobs. Don't believe me? Check out this recent news story: "Study finds U.S. bias against women in science."

According to the article, a "study was compiled by all the National Academies—the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine—which advise Congress, the federal government, and various institutions."

"A committee of experts looked at all the possible excuses—biological differences in ability, hormonal influences, child-rearing demands and even differences in ambition—and found no good explanation for why women are being locked out."

The academies claim, "Compared with men, women faculty members are generally paid less and promoted more slowly, receive fewer honors, and hold fewer leadership positions.... [However] These discrepancies do not appear to be based on productivity, the significance of their work, or any other performance measures... It is not a lack of talent but an unintended bias [that is locking women out]... The under-representation of women and minorities in science and engineering faculties stems from a number of issues that are firmly rooted in our society's traditions and culture."

So, how do we radically change society's traditions and culture? Do you think the younger generations will be more open to women in science and engineering leadership positions?

About Sonja Thompson

Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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