G38.00002. Challenges Facing Women in Physics

Presented by: Anne Marie Porter


Although the number of women has increased over time, women continue to be underrepresented in the physics field. According to 2018 survey data from the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics (AIP), women earned 22% of physics bachelor’s degrees, 20% of physics doctoral degrees, and were 19% of faculty members employed in physics departments. Our survey findings also showed that women experience more challenges during their physics career. Based on results from the 2011 PhD Plus 10 survey of mid-career physicists, women earned a significantly lower salary than men, and women more often reported that gender bias and family obligations were barriers during their career. We found that similar challenges were shared by women in physics around the world. The 2018 Global Survey on Gender Gaps in the Sciences surveyed physicists in 159 unique countries, and women were significantly more likely to report negative relationships with their graduate advisors, slower career progression, and experiences with gender discrimination and sexual harassment. These findings can be used to better understand and improve the experiences of women in the physics community.


  • Anne Marie Porter


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