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THE CLIMATE FOR WOMEN IN ACADEMIC SCIENCE: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE CHANGEABLE

Authors


  • Isis H. Settles, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University; Lilia M. Cortina and Abigail J. Stewart, Department of Psychology and Program in Women's Studies, University of Michigan; Janet Malley, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, University of Michigan.

  • This research was supported by an ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science Foundation and a grant from the Office of the Provost at the University of Michigan. We would like to thank Ann Marie Ryan for her helpful comments on a draft of this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Isis H. Settles, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, 252C Psychology Building, East Lansing, MI 48824-1116. E-mail: settles@msu.edu

Abstract

Deficits theory posits that women scientists have not yet achieved parity with men scientists because of structural aspects of the scientific environment that provide them with fewer opportunities and more obstacles than men. The current study of 208 faculty women scientists tested this theory by examining the effect of personal negative experiences and perceptions of the workplace climate on job satisfaction, felt influence, and productivity. Hierarchical multiple regression results indicated that women scientists experiencing more sexual harassment and gender discrimination reported poorer job outcomes. Additionally, perceptions of a generally positive, nonsexist climate, as well as effective leadership, were related to positive job outcomes after controlling for harassment and discrimination. We discuss implications for the retention and career success of women in academic science.

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