women in science and the department of mathematics

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Program Need:

    Research was conducted by reviewing national statistics and verbal surveys were conducted in Medway/Sydenham Hall Residence here on the U.W.O. Campus. The results indicated that there was a strong interest and desire to help other women succeed in their desired programs. Many of the women surveyed indicated a strong affirmation to becoming a "Big Sister" to an incoming first year female Science student. This program is about a grass-roots effort of women supporting women. The need for such a program is demonstrated in the literature.


  1. One study in the U.S. followed 2000 girls expressing an interest in Science through highschool and college. Only 20 of those original 2000 received a BS degree in the Natural Sciences.

  2. Stereotypes of women felt by many are:

    bulletIf I kept quiet, I was invisible in the classroom.
    bulletIf I opened my mouth, I was considered aggressive
    bulletIf I complained, I was considered a troublemaker.

  3.    The male to female ratio in Science and Engineering is roughly 30 to 1(UWO).

  4.   There have been only 9 Nobel Prize awarded to women in the 3 science categories
         (Physics, Chemistry and Physiology and Medicine) out of a potential 469 prizes
         that have been awarded since 1901. This includes the laureates from this year also.

  5.   Only 11% of all full professorships in all fields of science and engineering are held by women.

  6.  45% of incoming first year women who had indicated an interest in Science shrunk to 15% actually        majoring in Science.

  7.   In most recent Canadian stats, the total number of degrees compared to the 

        number of women that they were awarded to are;

bulletEngineering & Applied Sciences:        21.1% or 2,709/12,830
Agriculture & Biological Sciences:       60.9% or 7,430/12,209
bulletMathematics & Physical Sciences:       31.2% or 3,116/9,992

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Western’s Statistics on the status of Women holding Professorships in Science:

Students - first year ---> 561 out of 1,026
Students - undergrad (incl. first year) ---> 1,800 out of 3559
Students - masters ---> 88 out of 201
Students - Ph.d ---> 44 out of 167

Faculty ---> 27 out of 201
Biology - 6 out of 44
Chemistry - 3 out of 46
Computer Science - 5 out of 31
Earth Science - 2 out of 19
Math/Applied Math/Stats - 5 out of 72
Physics/Astronomy - 1 out of 23

Students - first year ---> 590 out of 801
Students - undergrad (incl. first year) ---> 1933 out of 2638
Students - masters ---> 198 out of 242
Students - Ph.D ---> 22 out of 43
Faculty - 51 out of 98

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Contact:  wisdom_western@hotmail.com

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Last Modified on March 27, 2003 2:25 PM {UA}