Women in Academia

Academia is not for women! What does academic research say about that?

Women are underrepresented in academia, especially in tenured positions. In the last years, the literature shedding light on the reasons for this under-representation has grown steadily. There have been excellent presentations of the state of the art research in the past - Iris Bohnet's book "What works - Gender equality by design" is probably the most well know example.

On this web-page, we summarize some of the recent research papers explaining the under-representation of women.

We start our summary by stating common gender stereotypes such as "women just need to act like men to succeed in academia" or "academia is fair and objective - women are just not good enough". For each stereotype, we provide a short summary of the research and then list longer abstracts of the research papers investigating these stereotypes.

Afterwards, we present a section on "what works" (to cite Iris Bohnet). We present papers evaluating policies to reduce the gender gap in academia.

This collection of the literature is neither complete nor final. We just try to develop long abstracts that are accessible for people who are interested in the most recent research, but are not researchers in this field themselves (similar to the idea of Rebecca J. Kreitzer). Being interested in the reasons for the under-representation of women in academia, we focus on papers that try to establish causal relationships. Nevertheless, we are very aware that our selection will always be subjective.

If we miss any papers you would like to see here or if we misinterpreted the ones presented here, please let us know. We are very grateful for the tips and guidance. Please contact us.

Gender stereotypes in academia

And men struggle to compete

And women are just not good enough

And women just don't have the stamina

And don't be so feminine

They have other preferences

They have different passions

And therefore: Do real research instead!

What works?

Maybe this is also of interest

Take the test yourself

...we enjoyed reading

On gendered language

Latest added papers:

  • July 19: Caplar, N., Tacchella, S., & Birrer, S. (2017). Quantitative evaluation of gender bias in astronomical publications from citation counts. Nature Astronomy, 1(6), 1-5. Here

  • July 19: Andersen, J. P., Schneider, J. W., Jagsi, R., & Nielsen, M. W. (2019). Meta-Research: Gender variations in citation distributions in medicine are very small and due to self-citation and journal prestige. Elife, 8, e45374. Here

  • July 19: Jenner, S., Djermester, P., Prügl, J., Kurmeyer, C., & Oertelt-Prigione, S. (2019). Prevalence of sexual harassment in academic medicine. JAMA Internal Medicine, 179(1), 108-111. Here

  • July 19: Pololi, L. H., Civian, J. T., Brennan, R. T., Dottolo, A. L., & Krupat, E. (2013). Experiencing the culture of academic medicine: gender matters, a national study. Journal of general internal medicine, 28(2), 201-207. Here

  • July 19: Carnes, M., Devine, P.G., Manwell, L.B., Byars-Winston, A., Fine, E., Ford, C.E., Forscher, P., Isaac, C., Kaatz, A., Magua, W. & Palta, M. (2015). Effect of an intervention to break the gender bias habit for faculty at one institution: a cluster randomized, controlled trial. Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 90(2), 221. Here

  • July 19: Van den Brink, M. (2011). Scouting for talent: Appointment practices of women professors in academic medicine. Social Science & Medicine, 72(12), 2033-2040. Here

  • July 19: Lerchenmueller, M. J., & Sorenson, O. (2018). The gender gap in early career transitions in the life sciences. Research Policy, 47(6), 1007-1017. Here.

  • July 19: Helmer, M., Schottdorf, M., Neef, A., & Battaglia, D. (2017). Gender bias in scholarly peer review. Elife, 6, e21718. Here

  • July 19: Girod, S., Fassiotto, M., Grewal, D., Ku, M. C., Sriram, N., Nosek, B. A., & Valantine, H. (2016). Reducing implicit gender leadership bias in academic medicine with an educational intervention. Academic Medicine, 91(8), 1143-1150. Here

  • July 19: Murray, Dakota, Kyle Siler, Vincent Larivière, Wei Mun Chan, Andrew M. Collings, Jennifer Raymond, and Cassidy R. Sugimoto. "Author-reviewer homophily in peer review." BioRxiv (2019): 400515. Here

  • July 19: Files, J.A., Mayer, A.P., Ko, M.G., Friedrich, P., Jenkins, M., Bryan, M.J., Vegunta, S., Wittich, C.M., Lyle, M.A., Melikian, R. & Duston, T. (2017). Speaker introductions at internal medicine grand rounds: forms of address reveal gender bias. Journal of women's health, 26(5), 413-419. Here

  • July 20: Jones, R. D., Griffith, K. A., Ubel, P. A., Stewart, A., & Jagsi, R. (2016). A mixed-methods investigation of the motivations, goals, and aspirations of male and female academic medical faculty. Academic Medicine, 91(8), 1089-1097. Here

  • July 20: Chang, S., Morahan, P.S., Magrane, D., Helitzer, D., Lee, H.Y., Newbill, S., Peng, H.L., Guindani, M. & Cardinali, G. (2016). Retaining faculty in academic medicine: The impact of career development programs for women. Journal of Women's Health, 25(7), 687-696. Here

  • July 20: King, M. M., Bergstrom, C. T., Correll, S. J., Jacquet, J., & West, J. D. (2017). Men set their own cites high: Gender and self-citation across fields and over time. Socius, 3, 2378023117738903. Here

  • July 20: Deschacht, N., & Maes, B. (2017). Cross‐cultural differences in self‐promotion: A study of self‐citations in management journals. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 90(1), 77-94. Here

  • July 20: Mishra, S., Fegley, B. D., Diesner, J., & Torvik, V. I. (2018). Self-citation is the hallmark of productive authors, of any gender. PloS one, 13(9), e0195773. Here

  • July 20: Nunkoo, R., Hall, C. M., Rughoobur-Seetah, S., & Teeroovengadum, V. (2019). Citation practices in tourism research: Toward a gender conscientious engagement. Annals of Tourism Research, 79, 102755. Here

  • July 20: Azoulay, P., & Lynn, F. B. (2020). Self-Citation, Cumulative Advantage, and Gender Inequality in Science. Sociological Science, 7, 152-186. Here

  • July 20: Lerchenmueller, M. J., Sorenson, O., & Jena, A. B. (2019). Gender differences in how scientists present the importance of their research: observational study. bmj, 367. Here

  • July 22: Edmunds, L.D., Ovseiko, P.V., Shepperd, S., Greenhalgh, T., Frith, P., Roberts, N.W., Pololi, L.H. & Buchan, A. M. (2016). Why do women choose or reject careers in academic medicine? A narrative review of empirical evidence. The Lancet, 388(10062), 2948-2958. Here

  • July 22: Piatak, J., & Mohr, Z. (2019). More gender bias in academia? Examining the influence of gender and formalization on student worker rule following. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, 2(2). Here

  • July 22: Cullen, Z. B., & Perez-Truglia, R. (2019). The Old Boys' Club: Schmoozing and the Gender Gap (No. w26530). National Bureau of Economic Research. Here

  • July 22: De Paola, M., Lombardo, R., Pupo, V., & Scoppa, V. (2020). Do Women Shy Away from Public Speaking? A Field Experiment. Discussion paper Here

  • July 22: Chang, E. H., Kirgios, E. L., Rai, A., & Milkman, K. L. (2020). The isolated choice effect and its implications for gender diversity in organizations. Management Science. Here

  • July 23: Mansour, H., Rees, D. I., Rintala, B. M., & Wozny, N. N. (2020). The effects of professor gender on the post-graduation outcomes of female students (No. w26822). National Bureau of Economic Research. Here

  • July 24: Ginther, D. K., Currie, J. M., Blau, F. D., & Croson, R. T. (2020). Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors in Economics? An Evaluation by Randomized Trial. In AEA Papers and Proceedings (Vol. 110, pp. 205-09). Here

  • July 24: Karpowitz, C., Preece, J., & Stoddard, O. (2020). Strength in Numbers: A Field Experiment in Gender, Influence, and Group Dynamics? Discussion paper. Here

  • July 24: Pugatch, T., & Schroeder, E. (2020). Promoting Female Interest in Economics: Limits to Nudges (No. 597). GLO Discussion Paper. Here

  • July 24: Gravert, C., & Thornfeldt Sørensen, K. (2020). Gender differences in submission strategies? A survey of early-career economists. CEBI Working Paper Series. CEBI WP 22/20. Here

  • July 31: Laver, K. E., Prichard, I. J., Cations, M., Osenk, I., Govin, K., & Coveney, J. D. (2018). A systematic review of interventions to support the careers of women in academic medicine and other disciplines. BMJ open, 8(3). Here

  • August 12: Koffi, M. (2019). Innovative Ideas and Gender Equality. Discussion paper. Here

  • August 12: Feeney, M. K., Bernal, M., & Bowman, L. (2014). Enabling work? Family-friendly policies and academic productivity for men and women scientists. Science and Public Policy, 41(6), 750-764. Here

  • August 12: Hanasono, L. K., Broido, E. M., Yacobucci, M. M., Root, K. V., Peña, S., & O'Neil, D. A. (2019). Secret service: Revealing gender biases in the visibility and value of faculty service. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 12(1), 85. Here

  • August 13: Lynn, F. B., Noonan, M. C., Sauder, M., & Andersson, M. A. (2019). A rare case of gender parity in academia. Social Forces, 98(2), 518-547. Here

  • December 13: Chakraborty, P., & Serra, D. (2020). Gender and leadership in organizations: Promotions, demotions and angry workers. Here

  • December 13: Larivière, V., Ni, C., Gingras, Y., Cronin, B., & Sugimoto, C. R. (2013). Bibliometrics: Global gender disparities in science. Nature News, 504 (7479), 211. Here.

  • December 13: Strumia, A. (2020) Gender issues in fundamental physics: A bibliometric analysis. Quantitative Science Studies. (forthcoming). Here.

  • December 18: Ball, P., Britton, T. B., Hengel, E., Moriarty, P., Oliver, R., Rippon, G., Saini, A. & Wade, J. A.(2020). Gender issues in fundamental physics: Strumia's bibliometric analysis fails to account for key confounders and confuses correlation with causation. Here.

  • December 18: Recalde, M. &Vesterlund, L. (2020). Gender Differences in negotiation and policy for improvement. NBER Discussion Paper 28183. Here

  • December 18: AlShebli, B., Makovi, K., & Rahwan, T. (2020). The association between early career informal mentorship in academic collaborations and junior author performance. Nature communications, 11(1), 1-8. Here

  • December 20: Cheng, S. D. (2020). Careers Versus Children: How Childcare Affects the Academic Tenure-Track Gender Gap. Here

  • December 20: Krishna, A., & Orhun, A. Y. (2020). EXPRESS: Gender (Still) Matters in Business School. Journal of Marketing Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022243720972368. Here.

  • December 20: Avitzour, E., Choen, A., Joel, D., & Lavy, V. (2020). On the Origins of Gender-Biased Behavior: The Role of Explicit and Implicit Stereotypes (No. w27818). National Bureau of Economic Research. Here.

  • December 20: Shan, X. (2020): Does Minority Status Drive Women Out Of Male-Dominated Fields?. Discussion paper. Here.

  • December 20: Jansson, J., & Tyrefors, B. (2020). The Genius is a Male: Stereotypes and Same-Sex Bias in Exam Grading in Economics at Stockholm University (No. 1362). Here

  • December 20: Paredes, V. A., Paserman, M. D., & Pino, F. (2020). Does Economics Make You Sexist? (No. w27070). National Bureau of Economic Research. Here.

  • January 15: Funk, P, Iriberri, N, & Savio, G. 2019. Does Scarcity of Female Instructors Create Demand for Diversity among Students? Evidence from Observational and Experimental Data. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. Here.

  • January 17: Card, D., DellaVigna, S., Funk, P., & Iriberri, N. (2020). Gender Differences in Peer Recognition by Economists. Here

  • January 17: Batz-Barbarich, C., & Felkey, A. 2021. Can Women Teach Math (and be promoted)? A Meta-Analysis of Gender Difference Across Student Teaching Evaluations. Here

  • January 17: Kleemans, M., & Thornton, R. (2021). Who Belongs? How Much is Belonging Worth? The Determinants and Effects of Selective Membership in the Economics Profession. Here

  • January 17: Mouganie, P., & Canaan, S. (2020). Female science advisors and the STEM gender gap. Here

  • January 28: Dahl, G., Kotsadam, A., & Rooth, D. O. (2021). Does integration change gender attitudes? The effect of randomly assigning women to traditionally male teams. Forthcoming: Quarterly Journal of Economics . Here

  • January 28: Doleac, J., Hengel, E., & Pancotti, E. (2021). Diversity in economics seminars: who gives invited talks? Forthcoming in AEA Papers and Proceedings. American Economic Association. Here

  • January 28: Li, C. H., & Zafar, B. (2020). Ask and You Shall Receive? Gender Differences in Regrades in College (No. w26703). National Bureau of Economic Research. Here

  • January 28: Gallen, Y., & Wasserman, M. (2020). Informed Choices: Gender Gaps in Career Advice. Discussion paper Here

  • February 3: Bradley, S. W., Garven, J. R., Law, W. W., & West, J. E. (2018). The impact of chief diversity officers on diverse faculty hiring (No. w24969). National Bureau of Economic Research. Here

  • February 4: Dupas, P., Modestino, A., Niederle, M., Wolfers, J. & the Seminar Dynamics Collective (2021). Gender and the Dynamics of Economics Seminars. Working Paper. Here

  • March 27: Zölitz, U., & Feld, J. (2020). The effect of peer gender on major choice in business school. Management Science. Here

  • March 27: Heffernan, T. (2021). Sexism, racism, prejudice, and bias: a literature review and synthesis of research surrounding student evaluations of courses and teaching. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 1-11. Here

  • March 27: Kreitzer, R. J., & Sweet-Cushman, J. (2021). Evaluating Student Evaluations of Teaching: a Review of Measurement and Equity Bias in SETs and Recommendations for Ethical Reform. Journal of Academic Ethics, 1-12. Here

  • March 27: Hale, G., Regev, T., & Rubinstein, Y. (2021). Do Looks Matter for an Academic Career in Economics?. Discussion paper. Here

  • April 11: Evans, J. B., Slaughter, J. E., Ellis, A. P., & Rivin, J. M. (2019). Gender and the evaluation of humor at work. Journal of applied psychology, 104(8), 1077. Here

  • April 11: Bailey, A., Dovidio, J., & LaFrance, M. (2021). “Master” of None: Institutional Language Change Linked to Reduced Gender Bias. psyarxiv.com Here

  • June 4th: Ginther, D. K., & Kahn, S. (2021). Women in Academic Economics: Have We Made Progress?. In AEA Papers and Proceedings (Vol. 111, pp. 138-42). Here

  • June 4th: Neschen, A., & Hügelschäfer, S. (2021). Gender Bias in Performance Evaluations: The Impact of Gender Quotas. Journal of Economic Psychology, 102383. Here

  • June 4th: Egebark, J., Ekström, M., Plug, E., & Van Praag, M. (2021). Brains or beauty? Causal evidence on the returns to education and attractiveness in the online dating market. Journal of Public Economics, 196, 104372 Here

  • June 4th: Murrar, S., Johnson, P. A., Lee, Y. G., & Carnes, M. (2021). Research Conducted in Women Was Deemed More Impactful but Less Publishable than the Same Research Conducted in Men. Journal of Women's Health. Here

  • June 4th: Baron, J. A., Ganglmair, B., Persico, N., Simcoe, T., & Tarantino, E. (2021). Representation is Not Sufficient for Selecting Gender Diversity (No. w28649). National Bureau of Economic Research. Here

  • June 4th: Misra, J., Kuvaeva, A., O’meara, K., Culpepper, D. K., & Jaeger, A. (2021). Gendered and racialized perceptions of faculty workloads. Gender & Society, 35(3), 358-394. Here