Wenneras & Wold 1997 is the one I have come across most often, perhaps because it's in such a high profile journal; 'Nepotism and sexism in peer review'; Nature 387, 341 - 343 (22 May 1997); doi:10.1038/387341a0 ; they found an amount of evidence of discrimination, most commonly represented as the finding that women needed to have around 2.5 times as much academic productivity to be considered equally competent.
Ben Barres' Commentary last month in Nature 442, 133-136(13 July 2006) | doi:10.1038/442133a; might also be of interest: some quotes from it:
"Like many women and minorities, however, I am suspicious when those who are at an advantage proclaim that a disadvantaged group of people is innately less able. Historically, claims that disadvantaged groups are innately inferior have been based on junk science and intolerance6. Despite powerful social factors that discourage women from studying maths and science from a very young age7, there is little evidence that gender differences in maths abilities exist, are innate or are even relevant to the lack of advancement of women in science8. A study of nearly 20,000 maths scores of children aged 4 to 18, for instance, found little difference between the genders (Fig. 1)9, and, despite all the social forces that hold women back from an early age, one-third of the winners of the elite Putnam Math Competition last year were women. Moreover, differences in maths-test results are not correlated with the gender divide between those who choose to leave science10. I will explain why I believe that the Larry Summers Hypothesis amounts to nothing more than blaming the victim, why it is so harmful to women, and what can and should be done to help women advance in science."
"Many studies, summarized in Virginia Valian's excellent book Why So Slow?11, have demonstrated a substantial degree of bias against women — more than is sufficient to block women's advancement in many professions. Here are a few examples of bias from my own life as a young woman. As an undergrad at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I was the only person in a large class of nearly all men to solve a hard maths problem, only to be told by the professor that my boyfriend must have solved it for me. I was not given any credit. I am still disappointed about the prestigious fellowship competition I later lost to a male contemporary when I was a PhD student, even though the Harvard dean who had read both applications assured me that my application was much stronger (I had published six high-impact papers whereas my male competitor had published only one). Shortly after I changed sex, a faculty member was heard to say "Ben Barres gave a great seminar today, but then his work is much better than his sister's."
Anecdotes, however, are not data, which is why gender-blinding studies are so important11. These studies reveal that in many selection processes, the bar is unconsciously raised so high for women and minority candidates that few emerge as winners. For instance, one study found that women applying for a research grant needed to be 2.5 times more productive than men in order to be considered equally competent (Fig. 2)12[this is the Wenneras and Wold study]. Even for women lucky enough to obtain an academic job, gender biases can influence the relative resources allocated to faculty, as Nancy Hopkins discovered when she and a senior faculty committee studied this problem at MIT. The data were so convincing that MIT president Charles Vest publicly admitted that discrimination was responsible. For talented women, academia is all too often not a meritocracy.
"There is no scientific support, either, for the contention that women are innately less competitive (although I believe powerful curiosity and the drive to create sustain most scientists far more than the love of competition). However, many girls are discouraged from sports for fear of being labelled tomboys. A 2002 study did find a gender gap in competitiveness in financial tournaments, but the authors suggested that this was due to differences in self confidence rather than ability15. Indeed, again and again, self confidence has been pointed to as a factor influencing why women 'choose' to leave science and engineering programmes. When women are repeatedly told they are less good, their self confidence falls and their ambitions dim16. This is why Valian has concluded that simply raising expectations for women in science may be the single most important factor in helping them make it to the top11."
"Disadvantaged people are wondering why privileged people are brushing the truth under the carpet. If a famous scientist or a president of a prestigious university is going to pronounce in public that women are likely to be innately inferior, would it be too much to ask that they be aware of the relevant data? It would seem that just as the bar goes way up for women applicants in academic selection processes, it goes way down when men are evaluating the evidence for why women are not advancing in science. That is why women are angry. It is incumbent upon those proclaiming gender differences in abilities to rigorously address whether suspected differences are real before suggesting that a whole group of people is innately wired to fail."
"Because of evaluation bias, women and minorities are at a profound disadvantage in such competitive selection unless the processes are properly designed11,12,14,18. As the revamped NIH Pioneer Award demonstrates, a few small changes can make a significant difference in outcome. By simply changing the procedure so that anyone can self-nominate and by ensuring a highly diverse selection committee, the number of women and minority winners went up to more than 50% from zero. This lesson can and should now be applied to other similar processes for scientific awards, grants and faculty positions. Alas, too many selection committees still show a striking lack of diversity — with typically greater than 90% white males. When selection processes are run fairly, reverse discrimination is not needed to attain a fair outcome."
1 Summers, L. Letter to the Faculty Regarding NBER Remarks http://www.president.harvard.edu/speeches/summers/2005/facletter.html (2005).
2 The Science of Gender and Science. Pinker vs. Spelke: A Debate http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/debate05/debate05_index.html (2005).
3 Lawrence, P. A. PLoS Biol. 4, 13–15 (2006). | Article | ChemPort |
4 Baron-Cohen, S. The Essential Difference: Men, Women, and the Extreme Male Brain (Allen Lane, London, 2003).
5 Mansfield, H. Manliness (Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, 2006).
6 Gould, S. J. The Mismeasure of Man (W. W. Norton & Co, New York, 1996).
7 Steele, C. M. Am. Psychol. 52, 613–629 (1997). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
8 Spelke, E. S. Am. Psychol. 60, 950–958 (2005). | Article | PubMed |
9 Leahey, E. & Guo, G. Soc. Forces 80.2, 713–732 (2001).
10 Xie, Y. & Shauman, K. Women in Science: Career Processes and Outcomes (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2003).
11 Valian, V. Why So Slow? (MIT Press, Cambridge, 1998).
12 Wennerås, C. & Wold, A. Nature 387, 341–343 (1997). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
13 Rhode, D. L. Speaking of Sex: The Denial of Gender Inequality (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1997).
14 Carnes, M. et al. J. Womens Health 14, 684–691 (2005). | Article |
15 Gneezy, U. , Niederle, M. & Rustichini, A. Q. J. Econ. 18, 1049–1074 (2003).
16 Fels, A. Necessary Dreams (Pantheon Press, New York, 2004).
17 Pinker, S. New Repub. 15 (14 Feb, 2005).
18 Moody, J. Faculty Diversity: Problems and Solutions (Taylor and Francis, New York, 2004).
19 Petsko, G. A. Genome Biol. 6, 1–3 (2005)."