Among Those Studying Chemistry At UWI, Women Far Outnumber Men
Among undergraduates at the University of the West Indies, the fraction of women majoring in chemistry is remarkable.
In 2003, women received 65% of the bachelor’s degrees in chemistry awarded by UWI Mona, in Jamaica. That same year, 76% and 73% of chemistry B.Sc. degrees went to women at Barbados’ UWI Cave Hill and Trinidad’s UWI St. Augustine, respectively.
In comparison, women earned only 50% of chemistry bachelor’s degrees awarded by U.S. universities in 2002, according to the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training.
Women are also strongly represented in graduate programs in chemistry at UWI. Over the past seven years, women earned 70% of master’s degrees and 48% of Ph.D. degrees awarded in chemistry at UWI campuses. At U.S. universities, women earned 46% of master’s degrees and 33% of Ph.D.s awarded in 2002.
In fact, the preponderance of women at UWI isn’t limited to chemistry. Women outnumber men at each of the university’s three campuses and in nearly every discipline, save for engineering.
But so far, few UWI-trained female chemists have landed faculty jobs at the university. Currently, there are only four tenured female faculty members in the chemistry department at UWI Mona. Neither UWI Cave Hill nor UWI St. Augustine has a single one. But change may be afoot: All three departments have recently hired young female faculty.