Gender and Atmospheric Sciences: A case study analysis and long-term view of women's success in atmospheric sciences

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 5:00 PM
Room C109 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Donna J. Charlevoix, UNAVCO, Boulder, CO

This work builds on an earlier study of women's success in atmospheric science where university undergraduates were surveyed and interviewed regarding their academic successes and challenges. Previous research showed four characteristics of women who persisted in the atmospheric sciences: affinity for mathematics, perceptions of career value of atmospheric sciences studies, strong science self-efficacy, and connections to supportive programs and networks. These four elements allowed each woman to draw on her existing capital and to build additional social capital within the atmospheric sciences community, resulting in her successful completion of a degree. This research presents an update to the academic or professional status of each of the women featured in the case studies as well as provides an overview of the current professional placement of other interviewees. The primary research question asked is: What is the professional status/situation of women seven years post-study? Preliminary results of this longitudinal study shows that over half of the women who persisted in earning degrees in atmospheric sciences from this research cohort are no longer in the profession five years later. The presentation will summarize the research of extending the initial case studies to illuminate post-academic impacts to career decisions.