Is it the Money? September 11, 2006Posted by gordonwatts in life, science, university.
Chad, over on Uncertain Principles brought up the old ‘Pipeline Problem.’ — why is it there are so few women in the field. He notes that by the a university students declare physics as a major the imbalance is already large and perhaps we should be concentrating on high school and even earlier, on grade school.
What I found interesting, however, was some of the comments seemed to be similar to the one from MaryKay (long comment, worth a read):
The first professional choices (MD, JD, DVM, etc) of women over the PhD-academic choice is fairly easily explained with an appeal to financial incentives, or financial return. Mostly, a PhD ‘doesn’t pay’ when compared to the level of academic investment required by a first professional degree.
I’ve heard this argument before. But I don’t get it. If we were to do things by strictly economic incentives then there is no way that I’d be doing what I’m doing. I don’t believe for a second that all women make a decision based solely on finances — any more than men do.