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Women are Leaving Science Careers

Women in STEM careers ABC News (6/24, Phillips) reported that even though equal amounts of men and women pursue graduate degrees in science, a recent study pointed to a troubling trend: A significant number of women are dropping out of science careers both in the private sector and academia.  Women are leaving science careers in their 30s and 40s.

ABC News pointed to a “study by the Center for Work-Life Policy” that found that “52 % of women in private-sector science and technology jobs drop out without returning.”

During the study, researchers conducted 28 focus groups in 13 major cities around the world, surveying women in science careers, engineering and technology who had been working at their company for at least six months.”

Why Women are Leaving Science Careers?

Laura Sherbin, a director at the Center for Work-Life Policy, said that the “reasons for attrition in the private sector…can’t be attributed solely to women leaving to raise families.” She said, “The top two reasons why women are leaving science careers are the hostile macho cultures…and extreme work pressures” such as “the increasing demand to put in longer and longer hours at the office.

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