March 29, 2017

Articles on women in STEM, March 2016-2017 [Women’s History Month]

Posted by Laura Guertin

For the month of March, in honor of Women’s History Month, I am dedicating my weekly blog posts to the outstanding organizations, resources, and inspiring stories about women in STEM. You can view my posts from this year and past years by searching on the tag “Women’s History Month”.

This week’s post, my final post for Women’s History Month 2017, has been a work-in-progress for the past year. Last year, my post for International Women’s Day – March 8, 2016 had a short list of selected articles published in 2015 and 2016 that examine gender (in)equality and (in)equity in science. Following that post, I started compiling a list throughout the year of articles that came across my email and Twitter feed connected to women in STEM. I share these articles here to help remind you of something you may have read or to call attention to something you missed from March 2016-March 2017.


Publications in journals and reports

Research: Gender bias in scholarly peer review. Helmer et al. (March 21, 2017). eLife 6:e21718. DOI:  also reported on in Nature News

Gender and Choosing a STEM major in college: Femininity, masculinity, chilly climate, and occupational values. Simon, Wagner, & Killion (March 2017), Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54: 299–323. doi:10.1002/tea.21345

Opinion: Gender diversity leads to better science. Nielsen et al. (February 21, 2017), PNAS, 114(8): 1740-1742. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1700616114

A gendered approach to science ethics for US and UK physicists, Ecklund & Di (February 2017), Science and Engineering Ethics, 23(1): 183-201. doi:10.1007/s11948-016-9751-8 (Inside Higher Ed article on this paper)

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: Special Report NSF 17-310. National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 2017. Arlington, VA. Available at (NSF press release)

Gender imbalance in science journals is still pervasive. Editorial (January 26, 2017), Nature, 541, 435–436. doi:10.1038/541435b

Gender stereotypes in science education resources: A visual content analysis. Kerkhoven et al. (November 16, 2016), PLoS ONE 11(11): e0165037. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0165037

Sexual harassment in the sciences: A call to geoscience faculty and researchers to respond. St. John, Riggs, & Mogk (November 2016), Journal of Geoscience Education, doi: (open access)  [Related article from In The Trenches – A Departmental Approach to Addressing the Problem of Sexual Harassment and Assault in Field Experiences]

Differences in collaboration patterns across discipline, career stage, and gender. Zeng et al. (November 4, 2016), PLoS Bio, 14(11): e1002573. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002573

Q&A: Lexi Jamieson Marsh and Ellen Currano: Face to face (The Bearded Lady Project). Witze (October 20, 2016), Nature 538, 316. doi:10.1038/538316a

Gender differences in recommendation letters for postdoctoral fellowships in geoscience. Dutt et al. (October 3, 2016), Nature Geoscience, 9: 805-808. doi: 10.1038/ngeo2819

Gender Systematics in Telescope Time Allocation at ESO. Patat (September 2016), The ESO Messenger, 165 (2): 2-9.

An entire issue of CBE Life Sciences Education (September 2016) that emphasizes broadening participation in the life sciences

Gender Representation on Journal Editorial Boards in the Mathematical Sciences. Topaz & Sen (August 18, 2016), PLoS One.

A special issue of Physical Review Physics Education ResearchGender in Physics (August 2016). This special issue is featured in a Nature article by Skibba (August 2016), Women in physics face big hurdles — still.

Women 1.5 times more likely to leave STEM pipeline after calculus compared to men: lack of mathematical confidence a potential culprit. Ellis, Fosdick, & Rasmussen (July 2016), PLoS One, 11(7): e0157447. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157447

Not “Pulling up the Ladder”: Women Who Organize Conference Symposia Provide Greater Opportunities for Women to Speak at Conservation Conferences. Sardelis & Drew (July 2016), PLoS One, 11(7): e0160015. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160015


Articles (magazine and newspaper)

Five unconscious biases that hold back female researchers. Cohen and Duberley (March 23, 2017), The Guardian.

‘Girls in STEM’ culture is failing both girls and STEM. Kesidis (March 23, 2017). Toronto Star.

Gender pay gap persists across faculty ranks. Hatch (March 22, 2017). The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Patchy progress on fixing global gender disparities in science. Ross (March 8, 2017), Nature News. doi: 10.1038/nature.2017.21598

Photo project spotlights scientists from under-represented groups. Chawla (March 8, 2017), Nature News. doi: 10.1038/nature.2017.21614

We Are Never Just Scientists – The gender and racial gaps in scientific professions illustrate the need for greater inclusion at all levels. Bywater et al. (March 8, 2017), Scientific American [guest blog].

The history of women in science shows us the fight is worth it. Hassett et al. (March 8, 2017). The Guardian.

Girls Knit Their Way to a Math Career. Korbey (March 8, 2017). BRIGHT on

Women in Science: A Q&A with an Editor. Stanley (February 27, 2017), EOS – Editors’ Vox [blog].

Women miss out on authorship opportunities early on. Kuo (February 12, 2017), Science Careers. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.a1700017

Data Illuminate a Mountain of Molehills Facing Women Scientists. Rosen (January 25, 2017), EOS, 98. doi:10.1029/2017EO066733

Month by Month, 2016 Cemented Science’s Sexual Harassment Problem. Scoles (December 29, 2016), WIRED.

Gone in 2016: 10 Notable Women in Science and Technology. Weinstock (December 28, 2016), Scientific American.

C. Megan Urry, Peering Into Universe, Spots Bias on the Ground. Dreifus (November 28, 2016), The New York Times.

Why Are There So Few Women Mathematicians? (How a corrosive culture keeps women out of leadership positions on math journals). Hu (November 4, 2016), The Atlantic.

Machine-learning algorithm quantifies gender bias in astronomy (Calculation suggests papers with women first-authors have citation rates pushed down by 10%). Vesper (November 4, 2016), Nature News. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.20932

How One University Closed the Gender Gap in STEM-Faculty Hiring. June (October 7, 2016), The Chronicle of Higher Education. (subscription required to view)

Women postdocs less likely than men to get a glowing reference. Skibba (October 3, 2016), Nature News.

Gender bias found in Earth-science society journals. Witze (September 29, 2016), Nature News. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.20708

Calculating a Bias in Neuroscience: Women Asked to Speak. Mandavilli (September 5, 2016), The New York Times.

Men cite themselves more than women do. Chawla (July 2016), Nature.

How women are harassed out of science. Williams & Massinger (July 2016), The Atlantic.

Why women earn less: Just two factors explain post-PhD pay gap. Shen (May 20, 2016), Nature News.

It’s Time These Ancient Women Scientists Get Their Due. Temple Wood (April 12, 2016), Nautilus Magazine.

Why Women Leave Engineering: The SWE Gender Culture Study. SWE Blog, April 2016; ECN Magazine, June 16, 2016

As Women Take Over a Male-Dominated Field, the Pay Drops. Miller (March 18, 2016), The New York Times.


From organizations

Sharks aren’t just for boys: Gills Club inspires aspiring female biologists. Pfleger (March 23, 2017). Newsworks.

These 76 Women Scientists Are Changing the World. Taft (March 8, 2017). EcoWatch.

Women and Science: Positive Growth in the 115th Congress. Doss (February 21, 2017), GSA’s Speaking of Geoscience blog.

Fighting the STEM gender gap with stories of trailblazing female scientists. Franz (February 2, 2017), PRI.

Women Scientists Advocating for Equality Surge to 14,000. Kahn (January 27, 2017), Climate Central.

They Never Told Her That Girls Could Become Scientists. Landhuis (January 7, 2017), NPR goats and soda.

Why Women Need to Congratulate Other Women. Makers, December 21, 2016 (*not an article specific to STEM, but relevant)

How Sexual Harassment and Bias Undermine Women’s Access to Scientific Careers. produced by C. Taylor (December 16, 2016) for Science Friday. (34:33 minute audio file)

How to Involve More Women and Girls in Engineering. Seepersad (October 24, 2016), Elsevier SciTech Connect.

Sexual harassment in STEM: ‘It’s tragic for society’. Ganim (September 30, 2016),

‘Belonging’ can help keep talented female students in STEM classes. National Science Foundation – News – Discovery, August 26, 2016

Gender equality in the geosciences: is it a numbers game? Gibson (June 24, 2016), EGU Blogs – GeoLog.

Gender Equity in STEMM. SAGE – Science in Australia, May 9, 2016

The road to Fellowship – the history of women and the Geological Society. Geological Society of London Blog, March 2016.

Women in Engineering: A Review of the 2015 Literature. SWE Blog, March 2016



Are there any from March 2016 – March 2017 that I have missed? Please add them in the comments section below!