Caroline Simard

Research Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Center for Advancement of Women's Leadership, Stanford University

Caroline Simard is passionate about building better workplaces for women and underrepresented minority talent in STEM fields through evidence-based solutions. She is Associate Director of Diversity and Leadership at the Stanford School of Medicine and a lead consultant on diversity in STEM with Exponential Talent. At Stanford, she is testing and implementing new models for increasing work-life integration to increase faculty satisfaction, retention, and diversity.

Prior to joining Stanford, Caroline was Vice President of Research and Executive Programs at the Anita Borg Institute, where she led the creation and dissemination of solutions to further diversity in scientific and technical careers in industry and academia, working with leading technology companies and academic institutions. Her work on women in technology has garnered global media attention.

Prior to ABI, Simard was a Researcher at the Center for Social Innovation of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an Associate Director of Executive Programs. Caroline holds a PhD from Stanford University. Her publications have focused on technical human and social capital, solutions to recruit, retain, and advance women and underrepresented minorities in STEM, the diffusion of best practices, open innovation, regional clusters of innovation, and social networks.

She is a board member of the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the representation of women in open source technology, and an advisor for Global TechWomen, a newly founded organization dedicated to supporting women in technology around the world. She is a frequent speaker on all things STEM diversity.

Women in Science: evidence-based barriers and solutions

The representation of women in science STEM careers decreases along the pipeline, resulting in a significant dearth of women at full professor rank. Even in fields like biology, where women in the US now earn 59% of bachelor?s degrees and 46% of doctoral degrees in 2010 (NSF, 2012), women made up only 32% of tenure-track faculty (NSF, 2009), and 26% of all tenured full professors in 2006 (NSF, 2009). While the representation of women at full professor levels has increased in many STEM fields across countries over the last 50 years, their representation has failed to match the increase in supply of graduates for these corresponding years (Burelli, 2008; Trower, 2002; Rosser and Taylor, 2009). Our institutions of higher learning fail to leverage their potential as a result. The overall increase of women in the STEM pipeline is good news, and females earn roughly as many life sciences doctorates as men (NSF, 2009, 2010; Hill, 2010). However, women remain severely underrepresented at the highest levels, with the following representation at the full professor level: 17.4% in computer science, 5% in engineering, 26% in the life sciences, 8.6% in math, and 8.3% in the physical sciences (Burelli, 2008). Clearly, a failure of our institutions to advance women to the highest academic ranks represents a loss to innovation and scientific discovery, and is harming national efforts to engage more women in STEM. Simard will discuss the main research-based barriers to increasing the representation of women in science: dynamics of gender bias across the pipeline, unequal distribution of service work, and rigid career paths with penalties for work-life integration. She will then offer evidence-based solutions and best practices for individual women and institutions.

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