Women Scientists’ Academic-Hiring Advantage Is Unwelcome News for Some, Part 5

Co-authored by Stephen J. Ceci

Our recent article reported results of five national experiments revealing a 2-to-1 hiring advantage for female applicants for entry-level professorships over identically-qualified men (link). We assumed this would be welcome news for advocates of gender diversity. We were wrong. Here we address criticisms of our study not covered in earlier responses to critics (link; link; link; link).

We Ignored Criticisms of Female Bloggers

We begin with a bizarre criticism. We were chided in two blogs for citing criticisms by men while ignoring women who made the same criticisms: “I note that though the authors could have referenced and linked to any one of a couple dozen critical blog posts… the three they chose are all authored by men. I’m genuinely curious to know if this was purposeful” (link). Also, “in the Huffington Post rebuttal, Williams and Ceci only respond to articles written by men (including me). That’s very interesting and problematic….To put it mildly, there are plenty of female scholars and analysts who have commented, but Williams and Ceci chose not to respond to them” (link).

We did not sift through comment threads searching for those written by men. But why is this even an issue? When multiple people raised the same criticism, our usual practice was to cite the highest-profile source, which in this case was a blog by a man in Slate.com. Granted, others made the same criticism, but they did so in personal webpages or less-trafficked blogs. Criticisms themselves have no gender (e.g., that our experiments did not resemble actual academic hiring), and since our rebuttals had 1,000-word limits, we could not cite multiple critics making the identical point as we would do in a comprehensive academic review. If the reverse —> Read More