Gender bias in science: manifestations, effects & countermeasures

Event date: Friday, July 10, 2015, at 2:00 PM
Location: RW 432

Women in Science Seminar

Speaker: Dr. Maydianne Andrade, Professor & Canada Research Chair, University of Toronto Scarborough.

Title: Gender bias in science: manifestations, effects & countermeasures

Assessment of professional achievement is a fundamental feature of careers in science, where it affects hiring, compensation, resource availability, promotion, and opportunities for further progress. Here I outline how decades of research, including experimental studies, show women are subject to systematic biases in the assessment of their scientific competence and achievement. Some types of bias are overt and can be addressed in many institutions with existing policies against unprofessional behaviour. Other forms are more subtle however, and may involve unconscious tendencies that are challenging to identify and address. Unconscious biases may nevertheless manifest in peer review of scholarly work or quantitative assessment of research impact, among other areas, and appear to be pervasive, regardless of the gender of the evaluator.  I discuss likely manifestations of unconscious bias and argue that education is a critical tool for counteracting its negative effects.