The good news: Many more women than ever before are completing Ph.D.’s in the sciences. Back in 2000, when I was appointed the first female dean of the graduate division at the University of California at Berkeley, I was delighted to learn that about half of the incoming doctoral students in the biological sciences—and more than 30 percent in heavily male fields like chemistry and engineering—were women. However, I also noticed that in most of the science departments where young women were eagerly enrolling, very few of the faculty members were female.
Today we know a lot more about what happens to women in the sciences after they receive their Ph.D.’s. My Berkeley research team has spent more than a decade studying why so many women begin the climb but do not make it to the top as tenured professors, deans, or presidents. We followed thousands of graduate students through their careers and extensively surveyed and interviewed faculty members, postdocs, and administrators, both at universities and at federal agencies.