Article: Fighting the Female Brain Drain

Rikki Endsley

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

Jun 03, 2008 GMT
Rikki Kite

Globe and Mail recently ran an article, called "Fighting the Female Brain Drain," about women dropping out of the science, technology, and engineering fields. The article is based on a Harvard Business Review study, The Athena Factor: Reversing the Brain Drain in Science, Engineering and Technology, which "attributes this female exodus to a wearying atmosphere of sexism in the sciences, along with extreme hours and family responsibilities that tend to ramp up for women around age 35."

One point the study makes is that the majority of the women surveyed were happy and enjoyed their work in science, technology, and engineering. According to the article, "But by the time these women reach their late 30s, the shine has started to dull. The report identified five major factors that drive women away: hostile, macho workplace cultures; isolation; mysterious career paths; extreme work pressures, and a culture that rewards risk-taking and last-minute saves over preventing problems."

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