A few days ago I posted on a new paper by Corinne Moss-Racusin et al. in Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. showing gender bias against female undergraduates. The authors submitted fabricated applications for a lab-manager position to both male and female faculty at American universities, with the applications differing only in whether the name of the applicant was Jennifer or John.
Not surprisingly, the applicants with female names were rated less hireable, less competent, and the raters inclined to offer them less salary and mentoring than the “John” applicants. But it was a surprise that the amount of discrimination did not differ between male and female raters. In other words, female professors showed just as much gender bias as males.
Some of the readers had questions about this study (I recall that the issue of how the names would resonate arose, as well as whether raters compare applicants only with others of the same gender), and now you get a chance to ask them.
At 3 p.m. eastern US time (8 pm UK time) today, Science Live is hosting a live chat with one of the paper’s authors, Jo Handelsman, as well as Shirley Tilghman, who was the handling editor for the paper. The chat is here (a transcript will appear subsequently on the same page), and you can submit questions in advance at the link for Handelsman (or, I guess, Tilghman). The questions should be posted as a “comment” at the bottom of the page. The chat is called “Do female scientists get a raw deal?”
As a side note, Tilghman, the first woman president of Princeton (a position she held for 11 years) and only the second woman to head an Ivy League institution (the first was Judith Rodin of the University of Pennsylvania), put out a surprise announcement Saturday that she would be retiring in June. She had been a molecular biologist, and I met her during a sabbatical at Princeton, where I was impressed by her accomplishments and her kindness. She did a great job as president, and announced that she’s retiring because she accomplished everything she wanted. If you must leave, I guess it’s good to do so when you’re on top.
If you have questions about the study, post them at the Science site now.