Women are becoming increasingly more common in the once predominantly male world of science and engineering. Although the female gender is underrepresented in math, science, and engineering faculty positions at major research universities, those who do apply are “interviewed and hired at rates equal to or higher than those for men,” according to a recent report from the National Research Council. Also noted in the study was that women who are considered “receive tenure at the same or higher rates than men.”
In a similar report this week, researchers at the University of Wisconsin reviewed a variety of studies and concluded that the “achievement gap between boys and girls in mathematics performance has narrowed to the vanishing point. U.S. girls have now reached parity with boys, even in high school and even for measures requiring complex problem solving,” the Wisconsin researchers said.
Although girls are low in the ranks of young math prodigies, that gap seems to be narrowing which undermines claims that greater prevalence of mathematical talent in boys is biologically determined. The researchers said this and other circumstances “provide abundant evidence for the impact of sociocultural and other environmental factors on the development of mathematical skills and talent and the size, if any, of math gender gaps.”