The meteorological "pipeline", 1980 to 2005

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 8:30 AM
B214 (GWCC)
Leslie M. Hartten, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado and NOAA/ESRL/PSD, Boulder, CO; and M. A. LeMone

Since the early 1970's, occasional surveys have given glimpses of the diversity of meteorologists in or with strong ties to the United States. We have synthesized some of these data in order to analyze the observed participation in our field in terms of gender and race, and to examine how it has changed over time. Gender and race information collected from atmospheric scientists in 1980, 1993, and 2005 has been stratified by birth year to allow tracking of age cohorts through the last quarter century. The data have been further stratified by student status and education level to allow for more detailed analysis of various portions of the educational and career pipeline. Our results show that in terms of both gender and race the field has become more diverse, although some racial and ethnic groups' presence in the field remains small in spite of large percentage increases. The rate at which mid-career women and men leave the field seems to have varied, and recently men have been entering the field at a much lower rate than women. Deducing the reasons for these changes may be difficult, but it is important to try to do so if we truly wish to work productively for increased diversity in our field thoughout the full educational and career life cycle.