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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion Conversations on the science of autism research.

How can we fix gender bias?

by  /  7 January 2013

This article is more than five years old. Autism research — and science in general — is constantly evolving, so older articles may contain information or theories that have been reevaluated since their original publication date.

Despite hard-fought gains in gender equality in the workplace, women still face a clear bias in science careers. That is the takeaway from a SFARI viewpoint by biologist Hazel Sive.

Read the full article here »

Sive highlights a new study by Yale University researchers who submitted bogus applications for a lab manager position at several different research universities. Evaluators, both male and female, subconsciously rated the fictional female candidate as less competent than the male one with the identical résumé.

Sive discusses steps her institution takes to ensure female job candidates are considered fairly. But what about making the workplace itself more friendly to women? One obvious improvement would be better childcare on university campuses, which could be especially helpful for scientists whose experiments require odd hours in the lab or prohibit them from working from home.

What do you think?

  • How might we reduce the influence of subconscious gender biases on the hiring process in the sciences? 
  • What’s one thing you’d change to make your work environment more friendly to women?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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