“Female scientists do ask, but don’t get” is the title of the recent report of the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH) on hidden pay differences in science.
Highlights of the report:
“Women have fewer resources
Compared to men, women report that they have less access to the crucial resources needed to properly perform the profession of scientist, such as research resources, travel budgets or assistance.
Less time for research
Women spend less time on research than men. Even after checking for differences in, among other things, promotion date, nationality, and whether or not they have children, women report an average of 70 hours – almost 2 full work weeks – of spending less on their time on research than men. In addition, parenting seems to have strong negative consequences for the agreements made with the university about available research time for women, but not for men in science. Among scientists with children, women, whether working full-time or part-time, were found to receive 5% less time for research than men. This difference amounts to 87 hours on an annual basis: more than two working weeks.
More initiative, less negotiating space
Van Veelen and Derks also investigated potential differences between men and women in the process of discussing employment conditions as a result of obtaining a personal research grant, a job change, and a performance interview. Women use a obtained research grant and a performance appraisal interview more often to discuss employment conditions than men; this male-female difference is explained by the average lower labor position of female scientists compared to male scientists. If women negotiate more often than men, this can be explained by the fact that they are often in situations where there is still much to be gained. It is striking that women systematically experience less room to negotiate than men, indicate that they have the idea that their wishes are taken less seriously and have a stronger impression that they think they are asking too much. Women are also less satisfied with the outcome of the negotiation than men, and indicate that they have a more unpleasant feeling of being left with the process. Van Veelen and Derks report virtually no differences in the content of conversations about working conditions between men and women in science.”