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Women Dropping Out of Science Careers May 17, 2011

Posted by The Raise Project in Uncategorized.

By Ashley Phillips
June 24, 2008

Even as nearly equal amounts of men and women pursue graduate degrees in science, recent studies point to a troubling trend: A significant number of women are dropping out of the field — both in the private sector and academia — in their 30s and 40s.

According to a new study by the Center for Work-Life Policy and sponsored by a host of technology companies, 52 percent of women in private-sector science and technology jobs drop out without returning, a vast majority between the ages of 35 to 44. In the 18-month study, researchers conducted 28 focus groups in 13 major cities around the world, surveying women in science, engineering and technology who had been working at their company for at least six months.

“The dropping out was a surprise to us. We knew anecdotally that women were leaving these careers. We didn’t expect to see the number 52 percent,” said Laura Sherbin, a director at the Center for Work-Life Policy. “We [also] found that there was a specific age range in their mid- to late-30s where the attrition seemed to spike.” […]




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