Monday, December 16, 2013

Worth thinking about: the Survey of Earned Doctorates in 2012, gender outcomes

Beth Haas has posted a very interesting analysis of new Ph.D. graduates in chemistry (via the 2012 Survey of Earned Doctorates.)

My thoughts:
  • It'd be interesting to see the gender differences for the "further study" (i.e. postdocs) category, as well as the "employment" category. 
  • I wonder if there's a difference in self-reporting with men and women? 


  1. My quick thoughts, as jobs are harder to find (bio/chem) then they go to more men?

  2. My first thought is that this is a two-body issue. I would guess that women are somewhat less likely to accept a mediocre post-doc if it means uprooting their family. Not sure why the same effect isn't observed in the other fields, though.

    1. That was my first guess too. More women seem to be willing to search for jobs instead of taking a post-doc. As un-PC as it is to say they are also in their late 20's and often want to start families. One of my wife's friends is in that boat (PhD looking for a job, but wanting kids too). I know it is a small sample size but more of the men I did my PhD with got post-docs than the women who got jobs instead(last year).

    2. Avoiding post-docs? The snarkier side of my personality wants to chalk it up to superior common sense on the part of the female chemists.

      Also, 56 black female physicists since 1972! Anyone else find that number astonishing (and not in a good way)?

  3. In regards to the two-body problem, my wife and I did the reverse of what normally happens. I was more concerned that she get a stable position, so we moved to where she got an academic position. I finished up a second post-doc and moved to where she was living, getting a job in industry.