Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Women Leaving Science Careers.
ABC News (6/24, Phillips) reported that "[e]ven as nearly equal amounts of men and women pursue graduate degrees in science," a recent study "point[ed] to a troubling trend: A significant number of women are dropping out of the field -- both in the private sector and academia -- in their 30s and 40s." ABC News pointed to a "study by the Center for Work-Life Policy" that found that "52 percent of women in private-sector science and technology jobs drop out without returning."
During the study, "researchers conducted 28 focus groups in 13 major cities around the world, surveying women in science, engineering and technology who had been working at their company for at least six months." Laura Sherbin, a director at the Center for Work-Life Policy, said that the "reasons for attrition in the private sector...can't be attributed solely to women leaving to raise families." She said, "The top two reasons why women leave are the hostile macho cultures...and extreme work pressures" such as "the increasing demand to put in longer and longer...time at the office."