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October 2016
Cornell University, home of the founding chapter of Graduate Women in Science.
In This Issue
  • Media Survey
  • Scientific Job Trends
  • Advancing Postdoc Women Guidebook
  • GWIS Book Club
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Science Job Trends 

Nature's biennial salary and job-satisfaction survey revealed scientists feel job prospects are better in Asia and North America compared to those in Europe. Most respondents reported positive aspects of their job included doing interesting work and having a sense of accomplishment while low marks were given to salaries, funding, and career advancement opportunities.

The report states, "Scientists of both sexes make sacrifices, but responses to the survey suggest that women are getting less in return. More than twice as many men as women reported earning more than $110,000 a year (15% of men versus 7% of women). Men are over-represented in the most senior, highest-paid positions in science, so it's not surprising that most of the top earners are men. But the trend continues even at the top of the career ladder. Among full professors and principal investigators, 28% of men but only 16% of women reported earning more than $110,000."

Nature also looked at income inequality in science, as the salary gap between high level researchers and younger, less experienced scientists has been expanding over the past few decades. The Gini coefficient, a marker of income disparity where 0 is equal incomes and 1 is all wealth in the hands of one person, more than doubled between 1973 and 2006 in most scientific fields and faculty ranks, with the biggest increases in the life sciences. By contrast, the index grew by just 35% for full-time male earners in the United States and by only 18% for US households. The gap in scientific salaries appears to have remained steady since 2006. Pressure to attract and keep star scientists and little incentive to boost pay at the bottom end are major contributors to the gap. Although the lure of an eventual high salary may give hope to some, too many may fall away with unfulfilled careers after experiencing too much time living without job security. A key problem for young scientists is that not enough is known about career advancement and salaries at the time they make key career decisions. Scientists need to use their own network of contacts to get details about what is considered a fair salary and lab start-up package.

Meanwhile, strong job prospects are still available, if you're willing to look elsewhere. A Scizzle blog and one by Dora Farkas outline the benefits of looking for jobs outside of academia with a doctorate degree.
Elsevier Advancing Postdoc Women Guidebook Published

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has published a guidebook to assist postdoc women in navigating through their careers by utilizing professional societies and associations. The guidebook provides essential information on programs and resources available to postdoc women. The postdoctoral position is a critical transition point in which the numbers of women scientists and engineers declines significantly. With this guidebook, the NPA hopes to stem this decline by providing solutions to some of the biggest obstacles to women’s career advancement.
More Info
GWIS Book Club
Thanks to those who participated in the GWIS book club on September 30.The next meeting will be in December (date TBD) where we will discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. For questions, contact Gina Moreno.

Nominations are open for GWIS national offices. GWIS national officers gain valuable leadership experience working with dozens of other women to manage and promote an organization of over 800 women in science. Do not overlook nominating yourself. Nomination form deadline is 5:00 pm on January 15, 2017.  Nomination Form

Fellowships applications will be received beginning November 1, 2016. Application deadline is 11:59 pm EST January 13, 2017. Fellowships

Collision Conference. Limited number of free tickets available! Join thousands of attendees at America's fastest growing tech conference in New Orleans, May 2-4, 2017. Contact GWIS president, Stacey Kigar, for more details. More Info on Collision

'Belonging' can help keep talented female students in STEM classes. Exposure to women scientists, peer mentoring systems, seeding teams with multiple women, and facilitating transitions create a sense of belonging that helps keep women in STEM and should be implemented at all levels of education.
Patent office weighs in on STEM gender gap. Did you know that women earn fewer than 1 out of 5 science, technology, engineering and math-related patents awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office? This is a slow and steady rise from 3% in 1977. Ways to increase women's contribuations are examined.
New Report Available on the Pay Gap. The American Association of University Women has published an updated report on gender pay discrepancies, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap. The 32-page report examines income disparities by region, race, age, education, and occupation with new data on disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
L'Oréal USA announces 2016 Fellowships Recipients. The annual grants endow $60,000 each to five female postdoctoral scientists. This year's winners include a neural engineer, a marine ecologist, an astrophysicist, a neuroscientist, and a cell biologist. US News & World Report
Q+A With The First Female Director Of MIT's Largest Research Lab. Daniela Rus has headed MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory since 2012. In this interview, she describes her work managing the eight department, 1000-member  laboratory which has produced over 250 companies. Forbes
Six enthralling novels about women in science. 
"I still meet old-school scientists who are like, 'Oh honey, women aren't good at science.' You kind of dismiss them as insane."

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About GWIS

Founded in 1921, Graduate Women in Science is an inter-disciplinary society of scientists who collectively seek to advance the participation and recognition of women in science and to foster research through grants, awards and fellowships. We comprise over 20 active chapters of more than 800 women who are "United in Friendship through Science" to support and inspire member professional goals and mutual appreciation of science. Learn more at

Contact GWIS

PO Box 580140 
Minneapolis, MN 55458

Stacey Kigar

Broadcaster Editor
Jane Sharer Maier

Membership Secretary
Laura Arneson

Copyright © 2016 Graduate Women in Science, All rights reserved.

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