As we all know, I'm very interested in the extremely bad statistics when it comes to women in science. Physics Today has an article that involved surveys of both men and women in physics, asking them questions about the resources they have and how family has impacted their career. They had ~15,000 responses, 22% of which were women (far higher than the 12% women in the field - you might think this is important to us). Unsurprisingly, women do worse in nearly every category. (If you want the numbers, scroll down to the tables at the bottom) Even my non-major intro astronomy students have noticed the graph outside the classroom that shows how few women are in the field. It's that bad.
The focus of the specific article is about the impact of family. Now, a lot of women physicists that I know put aside family. But, any environment that says you have to do that to succeed will necessarily keep the number of women low, simply for the cross-cultural expectations that women will be primary caregivers. Indeed, this is what the survey (and other surveys) show.
It is fairly disheartening that the comments on the article read like a lot of the MRA trolls we get around here; these are colleagues of mine (though I don't know them personally) and it shows very much that the attitudes in the field are as toxic as ever (note: I do not have only those comments as a source; the fact that the American Physics Society finds toxic environments pretty much everywhere and has a specific task force to attempt to address things peaks volumes). One might think "oh it's a generational thing" but frankly, I have heard people in my generation and younger
who still cling to the idea that a woman physicist's work isn't the equal of her male peers.
Family issues are part of it; this article discusses that. It doesn't offer any solutions, but does provide one thing we can be working on. However, I don't think anything will change, unless we can forcibly effect a culture shift within physics.
And that makes me sad.
(and tired. so very, very tired of fighting.)
Here's the article:http://www.physicstoday.org/resource/1/ ... ypassSSO=1