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Inequalities in access to permanent positions in astronomy in France

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Olivier Berné, Alexia Hilaire

(Submitted on 24 Feb 2020)

We investigate inequalities in access to permanent positions in professional astronomy in France, focusing on the hiring stage. We use results from a national survey conducted on behalf of the French society of astronomy and astrophysics (SF2A) aimed at young astronomers holding a PhD obtained in France, and answered by over 300 researchers. We find that women are nearly two times less likely than men to be selected by the (national or local) committees attributing permanent positions (p=0.06). We also find that applicants who did their undergraduate studies in an elite school ("Grande École"), where women are largely under-represented, rather than in a university, are nearly three times more likely to succeed in obtaining a position (p=0.0026). Our analysis suggests the existence of two biases in committees attributing permanent positions in astronomy in France: a gender bias, and a form of elitism. These biases against women in their professional life impacts their personal life as our survey shows that a larger fraction of them declare that having children can have a negative effect on their careers. They are half as many as men having children in the sample.

Comments: Comments welcome

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:2002.10287 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2002.10287v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Olivier Berne 

[v1] Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:40:00 UTC (443 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/2002.10287

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