On the under-representation of women in academia


Identifying and addressing the causes of the under-representation of women and minorities in academia is a source of ongoing concern and controversy. This is a critical issue in ensuring the openness and diversity of academia; yet differences in personal experiences and interpretations have mired it in controversy. Here we will present two papers on the representation of women in academia. In the first, we show that women spent far less time presenting talks than men at a recent evolution conference, despite the fact that the sex ratio of attendees was 1:1. Further analysis reveals that this effect is predominantly caused by men having a stronger preference than women in choosing to present long talks over short talks. We discuss the potential causes and consequences of this difference in preference. In the second, we present a simple model of the academic career and show that two key non-structural bottlenecks are restricting female participation in academia: choice of undergraduate major and application to faculty positions.

The talk will be followed by a general discussion of women in science, over refreshments.

Date & time

1–2pm 28 May 2014


Gould Seminar Room,
(Rm 235) Gould Building (Bldg. 116),
Linnaeus Way, ANU


Megan Higgie, James Cook University;
Rob Lanfear, RSB, ANU;
Allison Shaw, RSB, ANU;
Daniel Stanton, RSB, ANU.


 Ajay Narendra
 02 612 54799

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