An economist's research has revealed gender bias among academics. A gutsy senior wrote her thesis at the University of California, Berkeley, based on online, informal conversations about the economics academic job market. By analyzing more than a million online comments, Alice Wu identified words associated with men and women.
Words associated with women (female pronouns) were far more sexual, while the words associated with men were more positive overall. The female list is jarring.
Wu took a big risk in doing this research and publishing her report. She was warned about facing online harassment, but she seems resolved to continue her work.
The organization hashtac compiled an extensive list of studies about gender bias in academe and conclude the following:
The studies aggregated and summarized below offer important policy implications for the traditional ways that we quantify the processes leading to hiring, promotion, and tenure. You cannot simply count "outputs" in making an evaluation of someone's worth and reputation if there is a "biased filter" at the first stage of evaluation, prejudicing judgment at the outset.
- What, if anything, surprises you about this research?
- How does this work relate to the concept of implicit bias discussed in Chapter 2 of the tenth edition of Business Communication?
- Wu certainly demonstrates courage. What is at risk for her personally and professionally?
- Despite several page views, I cannot find what the letters "hashtac" represent. Where on the website would be a good place for this?