New report looks at PhD gender imbalances in US

October 2, 2014

A new report released this week looks at the perceived gender imbalance among US PhD graduates, suggesting that contrary to popular opinion, the overrepresentation of male PhDs compared to females is slightly less likely in STEM-related fields than in non-STEM fields. The researchers studied 135 academic fields, 55 STEM disciplines and 80 non-STEM fields. Of the top 5 fields in which men are overrepresented among PhD graduates, none are in the STEM fields. In the top 5 fields in which women are overrepresented, 2 are in STEM fields. However, overall, men are overrepresented in close to 75% of the fields studied. The study looked at the number of undergraduate degrees awarded in each field to both males and females as part of the methodology, but did not look at the reasons why women do not pursue PhDs in certain fields; nor did it look at whether females were dropping out of PhD programs at a higher rate. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed | Full Report