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Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists

Author

Listed:
  • Joya Misra

    () (Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Thompson Hall, 200 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA)

  • Laurel Smith-Doerr

    () (Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Thompson Hall, 200 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA)

  • Nilanjana Dasgupta

    () (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Tobin Hall, 153 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA)

  • Gabriela Weaver

    () (Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development, University of Massachusetts, Goodell Building, 140 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA)

  • Jennifer Normanly

    () (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Lederle Graduate Tower, 710 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003, USA)

Abstract

Universities were established as hierarchical bureaucracies that reward individual attainment in evaluating success. Yet collaboration is crucial both to 21st century science and, we argue, to advancing equity for women academic scientists. We draw from research on gender equity and on collaboration in higher education, and report on data collected on one campus. Sixteen focus group meetings were held with 85 faculty members from STEM departments, separated by faculty rank and gender (i.e., assistant professor men, full professor women). Participants were asked structured questions about the role of collaboration in research, career development, and departmental decision-making. Inductive analyses of focus group data led to the development of a theoretical model in which resources, recognition, and relationships create conditions under which collaboration is likely to produce more gender equitable outcomes for STEM faculty. Ensuring women faculty have equal access to resources is central to safeguarding their success; relationships, including mutual mentoring, inclusion and collegiality, facilitate women’s careers in academia; and recognition of collaborative work bolsters women’s professional advancement. We further propose that gender equity will be stronger in STEM where resources, relationships, and recognition intersect—having multiplicative rather than additive effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Joya Misra & Laurel Smith-Doerr & Nilanjana Dasgupta & Gabriela Weaver & Jennifer Normanly, 2017. "Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:6:y:2017:i:1:p:25-:d:92165
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bozeman, Barry & Gaughan, Monica, 2011. "How do men and women differ in research collaborations? An analysis of the collaborative motives and strategies of academic researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1393-1402.
    2. Elizabeth Corley & Monica Gaughan, 2005. "Scientists’ Participation in University Research Centers: What are the Gender Differences?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 371-381, October.
    3. Eric Luis Uhlmann & Geoffrey Cohen, 2005. "Constructed Criteria. Redefining Merit to Justify Discrimination," Post-Print hal-00516601, HAL.
    4. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Hessels, Laurens K., 2011. "Factors associated with disciplinary and interdisciplinary research collaboration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 463-472, April.
    5. Abramo, Giovanni & D’Angelo, Ciriaco Andrea & Murgia, Gianluca, 2013. "Gender differences in research collaboration," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 811-822.
    6. Katz, J. Sylvan & Martin, Ben R., 1997. "What is research collaboration?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, March.
    7. Barry Bozeman & Daniel Fay & Catherine Slade, 2013. "Research collaboration in universities and academic entrepreneurship: the-state-of-the-art," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-67, February.
    8. repec:spr:scient:v:81:y:2009:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-008-2197-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bozeman, Barry & Corley, Elizabeth, 2004. "Scientists' collaboration strategies: implications for scientific and technical human capital," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 599-616, May.
    10. John M. McDowell & Larry D. Singell & Mark Stater, 2006. "Two to Tango? Gender Differences in the Decisions to Publish and Coauthor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 153-168, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    collaboration; gender equity; academic STEM careers;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General

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