Gender bias still strong in science, engineering fields; parity at University of Arizona proves elusive

PARITY FOR WOMEN IN STEM FIELDS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA AN ELUSIVE GOAL

Advanced degrees and professional success haven't spared Leslie Tolbert from gender bias in the scientific world. She holds the University of Arizona's top research administrative position, is an accomplished neuroscientist and has a Ph.D. from Harvard University. But she has sat through meetings where her ideas were ignored until they were echoed by a man, who then received credit for them. It's frustrating, she said, but also motivating. "You do wonder what it is about you that makes you invisible or inaudible," said Tolbert, the UA's senior vice president for research. Tolbert heads up a program to change the climate toward women in science. She is the co-principal investigator of the UA Advance grant from the National Science Foundation. The grants are awarded to universities throughout the country with the goal of increasing the representation and retention of women in academic science, engineering, technology and mathematics - or STEM - positions. The focus is the often-unconscious assumption that men are more competent when it comes to science and research. Read full article here

University of Arizona College of Engineering