Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More on the Barriers Women in Science Face

The NYTimes has an excellent piece today entitled "Women in Science: The Battle Moves to the Trenches." While reading through this piece that highlights the many ways that women receive less support from mentors, less funding and have a more difficult time negotiating the "two-body" problem, I stumbled upon a section that discusses the differences in letters of recommendation for women vs. men.

Dr. Steitz cited a study of letters of recommendation written for men and women seeking academic appointments. Though all the applicants were successful, she said, and though the letters were written by men and women, the study found that the applicant’s personal life was mentioned six times more often if the letter was about a woman. (my emphasis)

What do you make of this?