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Gender Differences in the Careers of Academic Scientists and Engineers

Gender Differences in the Careers of Academic Scientists and Engineers

The typical postsecondary academic career follows a well-ordered path with several discrete milestones. The first of these is securing a tenure-track position at an academic institution, at which point the individual is usually assigned to a junior rank, such as assistant professor. Junior faculty members ordinarily are employed on probation and are given a specified number of years to earn tenure. The second milestone, the tenure decision, is perhaps the most critical point on the academic career path. Earning tenure usually means lifetime employment and arrival at another milestone, promotion to the rank of associate professor. Failing to earn tenure often results in termination of employment at the institution. Some doctorate holders, presumably those who establish distinguished records, reach a final milestone with promotion to the rank of full professor.1 This study uses data from a nationally representativesample of recipients of doctorates in science and engineering (S&E). With these data we examined gender differences for four critical outcomes that reflect successful movement along the postsecondary academic career path. These four critical outcomes are tenure track...

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