ESA Early Career Fellows are well balanced by gender

ESA announced its 2016 Early Career Fellows a few weeks ago. The program is fairly new – only in its fourth year – and its aim is to recognize the achievements and potential of excellent ecologists, broadly construed. The announcement of the 2016 cohort brings the total number of Early Career Fellows to 27. And you know what that means: a reasonable sample size for analysis and statistics! <<crowd goes wild>>

(Today, just a teaser, as I’ve got a manuscript to finish up this week before going on vacation. And I absolutely don’t work on vacation, so this manuscript’s gotta be done now.)

Let’s start out by looking at gender diversity. I was pleased to see a high representation of women Early Career Fellows this year. How has gender diversity played out over the four years of the program?

gender While we shouldn’t expect a continued increase in the proportion of women Fellows, [1] Anyone else itching to draw a trend line? 2020: 130% of ESA Early Career Fellows are women! ESA and the selection committee should be commended on its very balanced portfolio. At a total of 14 women and 13 men, that’s about as close to an even balance as you can get. I hope that this means that the efforts I’ve seen put forth in the ecological community to encourage nominators to nominate women and other underrepresented groups are paying off. (It would be interesting to know the gender balance of all nominees, but I’m not privy to that information.)

Okay, what about the institutions where Early Career Fellows are working? The description of the honor clearly states that nominees are evaluated based on contributions that “include, but are not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.” So it seems that we should expect to see some Fellows who are not just working at R1 (or foreign equivalent) research institutions.

institution_typeWell, 80% of Fellows were at major research institutions when they got the award. Three were in the U.S. federal government, one was in U.S. state government, and one was at a non-profit. What I don’t see represented at all are comprehensive universities, primarily undergraduate universities, and the private sector. But we’re still just four years in and the sample size is still small. One question for ESA is whether a 80-20 split between major research universities and other types of institutions is a desirable balance, or whether the latter group is under-represented (perhaps based on ESA membership).

Another thing we can quickly look at is the distribution of institution locations. ESA is primarily a society for those in the United States, but it welcomes members from across the world. Early Career Fellows must be members of ESA for at least two years prior to being nominated. Here is where Early Career Fellows were geographically located when they were recognized with this award:

institution_placeI don’t have any major comment to make on this. 85% of Early Career Fellows were at US-based institutions when they became Fellows. Two were in Canada. One was in New Zealand. And one had dual affiliations in Australia and Germany.

Permanent link to this article: http://ecologybits.com/index.php/2016/06/29/esa-early-career-fellows-are-well-balanced-by-gender/

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  1. Most ESA Early Career Fellows are almost mid-career » EC0L0GY B1TS

    […] consider nominating folks that are historically underrepresented. [1] For the Early Career Fellows, consider nominating someone at a comprehensive university, primarily undergraduate university, or in the private sector. As an […]

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