GENDER EQUITY: Stengthening the Physics Enterprise in Universities and Laboratories

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Maintaining a strong workforce in the physical sciences is of critical importance to the national economy, health care, defense, and domestic security. Increasing the participation of women in these sciences can strengthen that workforce by widening the available pool of talent. Despite the quite considerable increase in the number of female physics faculty over the past three decades, women still represent only 13% of faculty of all ranks from the 760 degree-granting physics departments in the United States and only 9.5% across all ranks at the major research universities. By contrast, all other disciplines measured except mechanical engineering are doing better than physics. If the nation is to enjoy the benefits of further significant increases in the participation of women in the physical sciences, the representation of women on the faculties of research universities must be increased. These women faculty play a critical role in the encouragement of women students.

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