Yale Proves Discrimination Against Women Persists in Nation’s Academic Science Labs

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Dan Haar and I have argued vociferously about whether women’s lower pay can be completely explained away by the occupational choices women make, the time they may take out to raise children, or even women’s negotiating skills when they get a salary offer.

A new study by Yale professors released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, summarized in the fantastic Boston Globe Ideas section, comes down on my side of the argument.

Yale researchers sent resumes to 127 biology, chemistry and physics professors at six unnamed research universities, both men and women, and the resumes were identical, except some were from John, and some were from Jennifer. They were told that this college senior had recently applied for a laboratory manager job, but eventually planned to go to graduate school and that the professors’ input on their application would help refine mentoring of science majors.

As the Globe says: “Regardless of their own gender, field, age, or tenure status, professors tended to view the female¬†student as less competent and less hirable.”

The professors who thought they would hire the student were asked to estimate what they’d pay him or her.

Jennifer was offered an average  starting salary of $26,508. John was offered an average salary of $30,238.


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