The women of Popular Science are not working today
Popular Science

You may notice that our website is looking a little light today. We’d like to explain. Today is “A Day Without a Woman,” a general strike for women’s rights and equality—so many of the women of PopSci aren’t working. And that means the website is going to be pretty quiet: While we get an awful lot of emails assuming we’re a bunch of “sirs,” the majority of the staff here is female.

We happen to work with men who support and promote women’s rights, but we recognize that many women aren’t as lucky. So since this is Popular Science, we’d like to leave you some information to consider during our time away from the office:

  • Women earn more than half of all PhDs in the U.S., but as a 2008 study found, they comprise only 45 percent of all tenure-track faculty, 31 percent of tenured staff, and 24 percent of all full professors.

  • Women in science and engineering are paid an average of $60,000 a year, which is $24,000 less than their male peers. This is because science is institutionally sexist. It’s built on social structures designed to give men a leg up—or, depending on your perspective, structures designed to push women down.

  • When gender is the only variable, institutions are more likely to give male scientists a job offer—and they pay them better, too.

  • Women aren’t equally represented in the peer review process, the vital system by which scientific studies are vetted before publication.

  • Even in science-related fields, such as nursing, where women are the majority, a 2015 study in the Journal for the American Medical Association revealed that men are still paid more—to the tune of around $5,148 a year. And yes, that’s after controlling for differences in experience and education.

  • One in three women professors in scientific fields have reported experiencing sexual harassment. But men don’t believe them.

  • In general, male researchers are less likely to hire women in their labs.

  • Sexual harassment is a big issue in tech, too. Just look at the current lawsuit against Tesla, and Susan Fowler’s detailed blog post on sexual harassment at Uber.

  • As women enter professions that were once primarily male, the salaries of those jobs decline. Put another way, as more women take on “men’s” work, the work is valued less and less.

And, of course, science journalism isn’t immune from sexism either. But we’ll still be back tomorrow.