Explicit gender bias

Explicit gender bias (or ‘old fashioned’ discrimination) implies that people think women are unable to show the same performance as men. Examples are statements conveying that women are less competitive or ambitious than men, or prioritize their family over work commitments. Legal regulations prevent (acting upon) of explicit gender bias, and people can file formal complaints when men and women are treated differently.

Implicit gender bias

Implicit gender bias (or ‘modern’ discrimination), implies that people are less likely to consider women when important tasks, jobs, or assignments are distributed. This can emerge in different ways. For instance, because the ideal image of a top scientist has more overlap with male than female charateristics, or because a man is more likely to be given the ‘benefit of doubt’, where a women has to offer more explicit evidence of her abilities. Implicit gender bias is perpetuated by formulating evaluation criteria in terms that more closely match the male stereotype than the female stereotype, or by providing images of men to illustrate success. It mostly happens unwittingly and  unintentionally, and is often hard to prove. Yet this damages the well-being, motivation and performance of those who are exposed to implicit bias.  

Relevant facts and statistics

Discussions about the possibility of gender bias in academic careers tend to be obscured by references to individual beliefs or convictions. As scientists, we strongly believe in the power of facts. Relevant statistics and research findings clearly illustrate the different realities faced by men and women in academic careers. With the links below we indicate where such information can be found.

Female professors get worse evaluations than male professors

Female professors are rated lower by students than male professors. The study by Buser, Batz-Barich and Hayter (2022) found that when students were asked to rate their professor, female professors were rated lower than their male fellow professors on all aspects. Moreover, fewer students were…
Buser et al 2022

Important women in science: Laura Bassi

"It took - and still takes - a lot for a woman to gain a place in the natural sciences" As far as is known, Laura Bassi was the first female professor in Europe. Voor zover bekend was Laura Bassi de eerste vrouwelijke hoogleraar in Europa. In 1732 Bassi received her doctorate in natural sciences…
Laura Bassi2

The gender gap in highly prestigious international research awards

This study examines gender disparities in the world’s 141 most prestigious international research awards from 2001 to 2020. The analyses show that the proportion of female professors has increased in recent decades, however, the proportion of female winners of international prizes still lags…
2021 9 Gender gap in research awards Athenas wisdom

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