Women in Ecology: Unique Pathways, Common Experiences, and Next Steps to Addressing Remaining Challenges
Thursday, August 13, 2015: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
317, Baltimore Convention Center
Andrea S. Thorpe
Eve-Lyn S. Hinckley
Over the course of ESA’s 100-year history, it has seen an increasing proportion of women join the profession. This is reflected in ESA’s membership statistics: in 2006, while women made up only 27% of members aged 51+, women were 37% of members 36-50, and 53% of members 21-35. Despite these gains, there is evidence that there are still differences in the experiences of women in ecology from those of men that can impede women’s career satisfaction and success. While 55% of graduate students in Ecology are women, they comprise only 41% of postdocs. In life sciences in general, many fewer women become faculty members than receive graduate degrees, particularly at research institutions. Recent research suggests that gender-based biases are at the root of at least some of these statistics. For example, both male and female faculty rated a job applicant as more competent when the applicant had a male name (with an otherwise identical CV) and there was a nearly 8% increase in articles by female authors after the journal Behavioral Ecology initiated double-blind review. In this workshop, women from different stages of their careers will share the experiences that they have had throughout their educational and professional lives. Discussions will include mentorship, experiences with other women in the profession, and the challenges and opportunities that led them to where they are today. The goal of the session is that by sharing stories of the unique pathways that women have followed and highlighting the positive experiences that women have had, we can form a larger understanding of "how we got here". Many women wonder if their path was usual or not. Through these discussions we hope to build a sense of community among women in Ecology and provide insight on potential next steps in addressing the challenges that remain.