Knowledge Center

Women Scientists in Industry: A Winning Formula for Companies

Through in-depth interviews with 30 women scientists in corporations, this study identifies the factors in the corporate culture that contribute to or impede the retention, development, and advancement of women scientists in corporations. It also includes a monograph of the proceedings of the panel of women scientists at the 1997 conference of the New York Academy of Sciences and Corporate and Academic Partners.

More than one-half of the respondents reported that they were given little or no information about the corporate job market for industrial science careers. Nearly one-third of the women scientists in the study chose the business sector not because they were recruited into it, but because they did not feel welcomed into academia. The organizational barriers to advancement women scientists’ face include: absence of female role models; absence of mentors; lack of line experience; isolation; exclusion from informal networks; stereotypes and preconceptions; style differences; risk-averse supervisors; and work/life balance. Most of the participants reported that they had to struggle against the perception that science was a male pursuit.

Sponsors: Tampax, Procter & Gamble