Closed Ranks in Oceanography
Between 2001 and 2005, women earned 28% of awarded PhDs at the 17 US institutions with physical oceanography graduate programmes, yet only one out of eight talks was given by a female presenter in many of the relevant sessions at the February 2010 American Geophysical Union ‘Ocean Sciences’ meeting. An analysis of the type of jobs held by physical oceanography PhDs in the United States reveals that for those who earned PhDs from 1980 to 1995, the chances of attaining a tenure-track position were almost equal between men and women. Since then, the situation has deteriorated: for those who earned their PhD between 1996 and 2009, the fraction of women in the tenure track was only about a third of the fraction of men who passed that hurdle.
To investigate the observed gender dichotomy between the research and tenure tracks, we examined career paths of men and women in physical oceanography.