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Clearing The Path For Women Scientists

Editor's Note: In 1991, with funding support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation of New York, a sociologist and a chemist at Wellesley College led an interdisciplinary research team- -including social scientists, physical and life scientists, and mathematicians--in the first phase of an extensive study, called "Pathways for Women in the Sciences." The study addressed the issues of why undergraduate women set their sights on careers

Paula Rayman

Editor's Note: In 1991, with funding support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation of New York, a sociologist and a chemist at Wellesley College led an interdisciplinary research team- -including social scientists, physical and life scientists, and mathematicians--in the first phase of an extensive study, called "Pathways for Women in the Sciences." The study addressed the issues of why undergraduate women set their sights on careers in scientific fields and what promotes or impedes their success. Subjects of the study were the women enrolled in the Massachusetts college's class of 1995 in addition to several cohorts of former Wellesley math and science majors now in their early career years.

Part II of the study, begun in the fall of 1993, focuses on the years after graduation and the factors that influence whether a woman decides to pursue a science career or to abandon it for other professional options. For Part...

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