Session S59b (Wednesday, 2pm, Wartik 106)

P768: Graduate student gender differences in confidence and satisfaction in the chemistry department

Gabriela Juarez (University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign, USA), Anne Baranger (University of California – Berkeley, USA), Lizanne DeStefano (University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign, USA)

A chemistry climate study was conducted at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in an effort to understand graduate students’ attitudes and perceptions. One of the areas that was addressed was gender differences within the chemistry graduate program. Statistical analysis found that female students reported feeling less confident than male students in their research/chemistry content knowledge and in their ability to communicate (N=188). Female students were also less satisfied with their experiences in the Chemistry Department than male students (41% of males were “very satisfied” compared to 20% of females who were “very satisfied”). Compared to men, women were also more aware of departmental competition among students. Although 55% of graduate students agreed that research greatly prepared them for graduate school and 67% said it influenced them greatly to pursue a Chemistry doctoral degree, this was statistically more significant for male students (72%) than for female students (54%).

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