It appears that students give female teachers a lower rating than their male colleagues. The International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam has assembled 650 appraisals within its own institution, covering a total of 272 subjects over a five-year period. These show that, on average, women are rated lower than men. The differences continue to exist after adjusting for various effects, such as the subject content, the composition of the student population, age, quality (impact of publications) and position (course leader or other teacher) 1. As a result of the lower rating, women have 11 percent less chance of attaining the position of professor compared to men. Similar results have also been found in the United States 2, 3.
If researchers in the Netherlands do not manage to publish internationally, this hinders their scientific career and leads to a waste of research time 4. A point of concern is that when evaluating scientific articles, factors other than their quality are of influence, such as the characteristics of the authors (for example: gender and country of origin).
Assessment prejudices are usually not very explicit. The fact that gender nevertheless plays a role in the assessment of scientific articles becomes apparent after the procedure has been improved. For instance, implementing a double-blind assessment process for scientific articles has a positive effect on the number of accepted articles by female authors.
The scientific journal Behavior Ecology adapted its assessment process in 2001, by hiding the identity of the authors of the submitted manuscripts . Over the first four years following this adjustment the number of accepted articles by female authors increased significantly (by eight percent). A similar increase could not be observed in the case of comparable journals where the reviewers did receive information about the authors 5.
Female scientists do not manage to obtain funding for their research as frequently as men. This has a negative effect on their career. According to research by the CPB, those female scientists who do obtain an individual research subsidy – such as the Innovation stimulus ‘Vernieuwingsimpuls’ or the VI subsidy – are more likely to be working in University education, to become a professor, and to receive research grants in the future, six years after receiving the initial funding 6.
From research into the awarding of Veni grants under the Innovation stimulus (an individual form of finance for young researchers) in the period 2010 – 2012, it emerges that:
From an analysis of the committee decisions, the composition of the committee and the language used in relevant statements by the NWO, the following emerges:
A total of 3,322 professors were appointed or reappointed during the period 1999-2005. Just 14 percent of them were women 8. The causes of this underrepresentation of women include:
Research performed in the United States shows that if there are two or more female candidates for a CEO position, the probability that a woman will be appointed increases 9.
What stereotypical perception or prejudices did you encounter?