Several previous studies indicate that among newly graduated PhDs, women tend to continue with a postdoctoral academic career to a lesser extent than men do. The Central PhD Student Council (CDR) has investigated to what degree this is also the case for Stockholm University. Using various sources, the relative change of the gender balance of PhD students compared to researchers at a postdoctoral level has been assessed at the four faculties of Stockholm University.
For the Faculty of Science, the four different sections have been analysed as well. CDR finds that it is first and foremost at this faculty that a clear change in the gender balance between PhD students and postdoctoral researchers is discerned. Even though the variations between the individual departments and sections at the faculty are large, as a whole the relative decrease of the proportion of women is between 11 % and 21 %, depending on what metric is used. The dropoff of female researchers takes place primarily in already male-dominated areas of research.
Unlike at the other faculties, we also find that the proportion of female senior lecturers at the Faculty of Science is lower than what could be expected. The proportion of female professors, even among new recruits, is still lower than the population of hypothetical recruits at all faculties – except at the Faculty of Humanities. We do, however, note that the proportion of female professors at the Faculty of Science is currently increasing and approaching that of the population of hypothetical recruits. At the Faculty of Social Sciences we see that, compared to the rest of the faculty, the proportion of women within the educational sciences is considerably higher and when excluding these subjects the trend towards more female professors disappears.
CDR concludes that it is important to increase the directed efforts to encourage support to newly graduated female PhDs within male-dominated areas to stay in academia. Furthermore, it is crucial to study the reasons for a larger female drop-off within certain areas of research in the transition from PhD studies to a postdoctoral level. We further consider it important to ensure that women are given the same possibilities as men to qualify themselves scientifically and not be burdened with teaching and administrative duties to a larger extent than men are.
Stockholm: Stockholms universitets studentkår , 2015. , 12 p.