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Academic Careers and Gender Equity: Lessons Learned from MIT


Address for correspondence: *Lotte Bailyn, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 50 Memorial Drive, MIT E52-585, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA, e-mail:


This article describes the experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after the publication of its report A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT. It starts by describing aspects of the academic career that make it difficult for women, or anyone with responsibilities outside of their academic work. It then outlines three definitions of gender equity based on equality, fairness, and integration, and probes the reasons behind persisting inequities. The MIT results fit well into the first two definitions of gender equity, but fall short on the last. Finally, the article analyses the factors that came together at MIT to produce the outcome described and indicates the lessons learned and those still to be learned.