Panel Paper: The Effects of Professor Gender on the Post-Graduation Outcomes of Female Students

Thursday, November 8, 2018
8216 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Hani Mansour1, Daniel I. Rees1, Bryson Rintala2 and Nathan Wozny3, (1)University of Colorado, Denver, (2)Colorado State University, (3)U.S. Air Force Academy

Although women earn approximately half of all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) bachelor’s degrees, more than 70% of scientists and engineers are men. We explore a potential determinant of this STEM gender gap using newly collected data on the academic outcomes and career trajectories of students from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) who graduated during the period 2004-2008. Specifically, we examine the effects of being assigned female math and science professors as a freshman on occupational choice and receipt of a postgraduate or professional degree. We find that, among high-ability female students, being assigned a female professor leads to substantial increases in the probability of working in a STEM occupation and the probability of receiving a STEM master’s degree within 6 years of graduation. By contrast, being assigned a female professor leads to a decrease in the probability of receiving a professional degree (e.g., a medical, dental, or law degree). We conclude that professor gender can have meaningful and long-lasting effects on the career trajectories of women.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force Academy, the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.