Gender equality at the University

Info: 

Despite clear progress in the last decades, women continue to experience limited access to top positions in the academia, at least in some fields of science. Our goal in this project is to deepen understanding of the mechanisms underlying gender inequality at the university. We hope to be able to confirm or disprove a few subtle ways in which progress of women in science may be hindered.

Using a number of research methods, including interviews, experiments and scientometric analysis we will try to uncover clichés that may negatively affect evaluation of women’s academic work.

We hope that our project will help researchers, university authorities and administrators of science and higher education understand ways in which they can provide more of a level playing field for both genders.

Project partners (from Poland and Norway) will collaborate to analyse existing data and design new studies of gender inequality at the academia. We believe in the long run our project will contribute to sharing best practices in promoting gender equality at the university between Norway, Poland, and beyond. Among other things, surveys previously administered in Norway and targeted at PhDs will be reanalysed and conducted in Poland as part of the project. We will try to learn from the comparison of the results in the two countries.

Budget: 

Źródło finansowania: Fundusze Norweskie (http://www.eog.gov.pl)

Promotor projektu: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydział Nauk Ekonomicznych

Partnerzy polscy: Uniwersytet Warszawski, The Robert B. Zajonc Institute for Social Studies

Partnerzy norwescy: Nordic Institute for studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU)

Łączny budżet projektu:  1 200 000 zł

Opublikowane | Published

  • Do gender and physical attractiveness affect college grades? | Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education

    In this study I use data on grades awarded for bachelor and master theses at a large Polish university, seeking to identify discrimination on gender or physical attractiveness. I focus on the gap between the grades awarded by the advisor (who knows the student personally) and the reviewer (who typically does not, so that gender is less salient and beauty is not observable). This provides an excellent control for actual quality of the work, which is often problematic in previous literature. Observations on nearly 15 thousand students are available, of which 2500 also have their physical attractiveness rated and included in my analysis. I can thus check if the advisor-reviewer grade gap depends on student’s gender and beauty, also in interaction with their genders. Overall, there is no evidence of such influence.

    Michał
    Krawczyk
  • Are all researchers male? Gender misattributions in citations | Scientometrics

    I screen academic literature for cases of misattribution of cited author’s gender. While such mistakes are overall not common, their frequency depends dramatically on the gender of the cited author. Female scholar are cited as if they were male more than ten times more often than the opposite happens, probably revealing that citers are influenced by the gender-science stereotype. The gender of the citing author and the field of study appear to have only limited effect.

    Michał
    Krawczyk
  • Author gender affects the rating of academic articles: Evidence from an incentivized, deception-free laboratory experiment | European Economic Review

    Even though women׳s position in academia has changed dramatically over the last few decades, there is still some evidence that when it comes to evaluation of scientific achievements, gender may play a significant role. Gender bias is particularly likely to take the form of statistical discrimination. In this study we sought to verify the hypothesis that researcher׳s gender affects evaluation of his or her work, especially in a field where women only represent a minority. Towards this end we asked a sample of subjects, mostly economics majors, to evaluate a paper written by mixed-gender couples, indicating that it was (co-)authored by a “female economist”, “male economist”, “young female economist” or “young male economist” or giving no information about the author at all. While age factor played no role, female authors appeared to be seen as less competent than males, in that subjects (being incentivized to give their best judgment) less often believed that their papers have been published. This effect did not interact strongly with the gender of the subject.

    Michał
    Krawczyk
    Magdalena
    Smyk-Szymańska

W toku | Work in progress

  • Student’s gender affects evaluation of matriculation exams

    In this project I look at the results of Polish matriculation exams (matura) from the gender perspective. Specifically, I investigate if male and female students are treated differently by the evaluators. I develop a new method to answer this question using the peculiarity of the data: for some subjects the scores just below the passing threshold are very rare, apparently because they are often adjusted upwards, so that the student (barely) passes. I check if the probability of such assistance depends on the gender of the student. I also apply the standard approach of checking if any gender does particularly well on oral exams (which are taken locally) compared to their scores on written exams (which are anonymized and evaluated by teachers from other schools). The main finding is that gender does matter. I find that poorly performing female students have a slightly higher chance of passing than their matched male colleagues, although for better students the bias appears to be reversed.

    Michał
    Krawczyk
  • Gender, beauty and support networks in academia: evidence from a field experiment

    Bibliometric studies show that male academics are more productive than their female counterparts and that the gap cannot be explained in terms of difference in abilities. In this project we wish to verify the hypothesis that this tendency is related to the greater support that men receive from their colleagues (“old boys network”). Towards this end we had e-mails sent by a male or female student asking academics for a minor favour. In Study 1 we asked authors of nearly 300 papers in experimental economics to share the raw data used in their study. We observed no difference in response rate or compliance rate between male and female senders. In Study 2 we sent 2775 e-mails to academics affiliated with prestigious schools from ten different fields, asking to either send us a copy of their recent article or meet the sender supposedly interested in pursuing a PhD program. Once again we manipulated gender of the senders but this time we also varied their physical attractiveness. We found a small but significant difference in the Article Treatment: attractive females’ requests were honoured less often. No such tendency was found in the Meeting Treatment and no general gender effect was observed. Overall, we find very little support for the claim that early-stage male researchers enjoy greater support than their female colleagues.

    Michał
    Krawczyk
    Magdalena
    Smyk-Szymańska