Women Favored by 2:1 Over Men in STEM Fields, Study Concludes

Posted on Posted in Psychology

A national study conducted in the US wanted to find out whether or not there is any gender bias in the hiring practices within STEM fields. Willians and Ceci (2015) found out that women are favored when applying for tenure-track positions by a 2:1 margin over men. The researchers had faculty members rate fictitious equally qualified applications for a tenure-track assistant professorship.

In absolute numbers, men outnumber women on tenure professions though. The authors suggest this is because women are discouraged from applying because they think they are disadvantaged because of their gender, when in reality men are. Across all faculty domains, women were preferred over men:


The effect size d was around 0.8 to 1.42, a strong effect. There was no difference between male and female raters, except in the economy domain where only men were gender neutral.

The researchers also controlled for different lifestyles. They found out that across all lifestyles, except mothers with spouses running home-based businesses, women were favored over men.


All in all, it can be concluded that in an academical setting women have no longer any disadvantage, rather, men have when being compared to an identically qualified women.


Williams, W. M., & Ceci, S. J. (2015). National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(17), 5360–5365. http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1418878112

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