Historical comparison of gender inequality in scientific careers across countries and disciplines

Published on Jul 9, 2019in arXiv: Digital Libraries
Junming Huang , Junming Huang12
Estimated H-index: 12
(NU: Northeastern University)
+ 1 AuthorsAlbert-László Barabási128
Estimated H-index: 128
(NU: Northeastern University)
There is extensive, yet fragmented, evidence of gender differences in academia suggesting that women are under-represented in most scientific disciplines, publish fewer articles throughout a career, and their work acquires fewer citations. Here, we offer a comprehensive picture of longitudinal gender discrepancies in performance through a bibliometric analysis of academic careers by reconstructing the complete publication history of over 1.5 million gender-identified authors whose publishing career ended between 1955 and 2010, covering 83 countries and 13 disciplines. We find that, paradoxically, the increase of participation of women in science over the past 60 years was accompanied by an increase of gender differences in both productivity and impact. Most surprisingly though, we uncover two gender invariants, finding that men and women publish at a comparable annual rate and have equivalent career-wise impact for the same size body of work. Finally, we demonstrate that differences in dropout rates and career length explain a large portion of the reported career-wise differences in productivity and impact. This comprehensive picture of gender inequality in academia can help rephrase the conversation around the sustainability of women's careers in academia, with important consequences for institutions and policy makers.
Figures & Tables
  • References (5)
  • Citations (1)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
13 Citations
20 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
Cited By1
Modern science is dominated by scientific productions from teams. Large teams have demonstrated a clear advantage over small teams in applying for research funding, performing complicated research tasks and producing research works with high impact. Recent research, however, shows that both large and small teams have their own merits. Small teams tend to expand the frontier of knowledge by creating disruptive research outcomes, while large teams are more apt to work in the established field and ...