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Glass Ceiling in Science and Engineering

  1. Feb 17, 2007 #1


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    After doing a lot of reading in a business management class last semester, I noticed the glass ceiling plays a huge role in managerial positions throughout the world. However, I noticed that science and engineering industries are rarely mentioned during these articles, reports, etc.. My question is, does the glass ceiling still play a major role in the academia world of science and engineering? Or is it something that S/E has been able to overcome unlike other industries?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2007 #2
    I think the glass ceiling doesn't exist as much in the sciences because in effect everyone is an entrepreneur so its difficult to judge how high someone has risen, and more than that the top positions are usually given to people who have established themselves as quality researchers.
  4. Feb 21, 2007 #3
    Apparently the glass ceilings are a lot worse for women then men, as
    people keep telling me, as i am a girl but i want to do engineering. Personally I think any glass ceiling can be overcome with hard work and dedication, but would be very tiring for someone who had to do so.
  5. Feb 21, 2007 #4
    From my experience, fortunately most academics are able to at least found a mutual respect based on the quality of ones work. I'd say theres no limits if you're pulling out the papers - the good and at the same time the bad thing is that the ceiling is yourself, if you put in hard work then people will recognize it.

    Groundbreaking papers aren't a result of promotions through the system!
  6. Feb 21, 2007 #5
    Really? I always thought it would be easier for you as a girl because there are less women in engineering
  7. Feb 21, 2007 #6
    Women and minorities (not Asians) definitely have unfair advantages in the hiring process; some professors even told us when the physics department here was hiring that they gave extra consideration to applicants in those groups because they are underrepresented in the field.
  8. Feb 22, 2007 #7
    yeah in the hiring process, but then they don't get promoted as much. And apparently don't earn as much for the same type of jobs.
  9. Feb 25, 2007 #8
    I've always wondered if job candidates aided by affirmative action aren't promoted because the employer resents having their hand forced.
  10. Feb 26, 2007 #9
    probably partly. It makes sense, though it's not really the employee's fault either. I mean, i didnt ask to be a girl lol.
  11. Feb 26, 2007 #10
    I don't buy the whole glass ceiling argument. When I was an undergrad, there were tons of math and chemistry majors who were girls. The question people never ask is why do girls choose not to pursue science and engineering? There are waaaaaaaaaayyyyy many more girls who study things like English and Communications etc. does this mean there is a glass ceiling for males in these areas? No, men simply choose not to study those things. When my best friend (male) graduated from Notre Dame with an engineering degree and started looking for engineering jobs, he had to go through the whole multiple interviewing process etc. while a girl who came in for the same job was pretty much hired on the spot without having to ever come in for several round of interviews like all the male candidates. My mom also told me of her supervisor's daughter who graduated from college with an engineering degree and was offered a full ride scholarship to Notre Dame to get an advanced degree in engineering even though she never even filled out an application to ND which is complete BS. At my undergrad univ. female engineers are also given preference for student housing and guaranteed housing for all 4 years. And it is a major pain in the buttocks where my univ. is to get off campus housing. How is that not discrimination? Just because someone is female engineer they get housing while a male engineer is forced to be moved off campus? I'm all for giving more money to programs that try to get minorities and women more interested in science and engineering (for christ's sake what happens if I have a daughter of my own?), but all this BS for preferences for minorities and women is nonsense. A candidate regardless of their skin color or sex should be examined for their credentials, not what sex or skin color they are. The bar should not be lowered for minorities or women just because they may be "underrepresented." Why don't men get "preferences" when they choose to study things like nursing? How many full ride scholarships are there for men who study nursing? None probably. They certainly are extremely underrepresented in that field and there is a nursing shortage why not try to attract some men? If I chose to study nursing should I be given a job interview ahead of everyone and only have to go through half the interview process just because I checked the box for male on the application?
  12. Mar 3, 2007 #11
    mm i dont like the whole fast track thing. It would make me feel useless. i hate the fact they do this gender stuff.
    but now i think i'm going to do geography ^^ so that wont be such a problem.
  13. Mar 3, 2007 #12
    Personally I beleive that this whole favoritism towards minorities is ridiculous and it just hinders the true abilities of those who want to realy make it. example: the US is only made up of about 4% asian-americans (i'm vietnamese), but this year the UC system had 36% of its admits from asians. thats not from getting special admissions just for being from a minority, that was from the choice of the students. on the other hand, women make up nearly half the us but in most top universities they are outnumbered by men. is this implying that women are inferior to men? no, that means they are mentaly deciding not to go into these fields. its ridiculous that someone should be given an advantage because their minority is considered 'under-represented.'

    lets say we had a 51st state added to the US and it was an area of full of a minoritiy (in this case, lets say it was a land of hippies. they are a minority :biggrin: ) they are extremely under-represented in the scientific world. does this mean harvard should jump up and say hey! we need more hippies! give the applicants from hippie island a little leeway on their applications!
  14. Mar 3, 2007 #13

    I am also asian (thai) and right now I am trying to apply for medical school. What really burns my a$$ is the fact that for matriculants to medical schools the following are the average MCAT scores and GPAs by race:

    Black: 3.38 GPA MCAT: 25.3 (out of 45)
    Hispanic (mexican): 3.50 GPA MCAT: 27.7
    Asian: 3.66 GPA MCAT: 31.5
    White: 3.67 GPA MCAT: 30.9

    (source: AAMC which is the organization that pretty much runs all medical school admissions)

    There is absolutely no justification for the fact that whites and asians have to outperform certain minority groups by almost a .2-.3 GPA and 4-6 points higher on the MCAT (and 4-6 points higher on the MCAT is HUUUUUUGE) to make it into medical school. Why can't the most qualified individuals get accepted into medical school? This preference for "underrepresented" individuals is just a farce and all it is is just implementation of reverse discrimination.
  15. Mar 3, 2007 #14
    Actually, women tend to outnumber men in higher education (counting all fields)
  16. Mar 4, 2007 #15
    really?? for med?? i didnt know that, i wonder if my cousin does :s argo!
  17. Mar 4, 2007 #16
    Yes I know that here in Sweden there are twice the amount of women in higher education compared to men. It's probably the same situation in most western countries.
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