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The Effects of Limited Resources and Opportunities on Women’s Careers in Physics: Results from the Global Survey of Physicists



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PIRSA Number: 
13030082

Abstract

The
results of the Global Survey of Physicists draw attention to the need to focus
on factors other than representation when discussing the situation of women in
physics. Previous studies of women in physics have mostly focused on the lack
of women in the field. This study goes beyond the obvious shortage of women and
shows that there are much deeper issues. For the first time, a multinational
study was conducted with 15000 respondents from 130 countries, showing that problems
for women in physics transcend national borders. Across all countries, women
have fewer resources and opportunities and are more affected by cultural
expectations concerning child care. We show that limited resources and
opportunities hurt career progress, and because women have fewer opportunities
and resources, their careers progress more slowly. We also show the
disproportionate effects of children on women physicists' careers.  Cultural expectations about home and family
are difficult to change. However, for women to have successful outcomes and
advance in physics, they must have equal access to resources and opportunities.

An article based on these findings can be found
at: http://www.physicstoday.org/resource/1/phtoad/v65/i2/p47_s1