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J Anim Sci. 1996 Nov;74(11):2843-8.

Fixing the leaky pipeline: women scientists in academia.

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Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Although the number of women receiving doctorates and in academic positions has increased over the past 20 yr, females still are under-represented on university faculties. The extent of and reasons for this inequity are discussed. There are four critical periods that influence the retention of women in science: early childhood, adolescence, college, and the graduate school/job entry period. For each of the later three periods, the paper addresses the relationship between self-esteem and job performance, the quality and impacts of classroom interactions, and the role of the advisor/mentor. In addition, some of the difficulties in combining career and family responsibilities are considered. Effective networking and mentoring play an important role at the faculty level. If our goal is to have a scientific community open equally to all members of the general population, it is necessary to keep adolescent girls involved in math and science and to maintain their self-esteem. New faculty need to be more completely included in departmental and professional activities through both formal programs and good neighborliness on the behalf of existing faculty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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