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Center for Higher Education
Guest talk

Prof. Dr. Creso Sá

Gender Gaps in Research Productivity and Recognition Among Elite Scientists in Canada, the United States and South Africa

Portrait photo of Prof. Dr. Creso Sá © Creso Sá
Prof. Dr. Creso Sá (University of Toronto, Canada)

This presentation will discuss a recent study that builds upon the literature documenting gender disparities in science by investigating research productivity and recognition among elite scientists in three countries.

This analysis departs from both the general comparison of researchers across organizational settings and academic appointments on one hand, and the definition of "elite" by the research outcome variables on the other, which are common in previous studies. Instead, this paper's approach considers the stratification of scientific careers by carefully constructing matched samples of men and women holding research chairs in Canada, the United States and South Africa, along with a control group of departmental peers. The analysis is based on a unique, hand-curated dataset including 943 researchers, which allows for a systematic comparison of successful scientists vetted through similar selection mechanisms. Our results show that even among elite scientists a pattern of stratified productivity and recognition by gender remains, with more prominent gaps in recognition. Our results point to the need for gender equity initiatives in science policy to critically examine assessment criteria and evaluation mechanisms to emphasize multiple expressions of research excellence.


Creso Sá is Distinguished Professor of Science Policy, Higher Education, and Innovation at the University of Toronto. He is also Associate Chair of the Department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education and Director of the Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education (CIHE). Creso is Associate Editor of Studies in Higher Education, and Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Higher Education. His work focuses on science & technology policy, the evolving role of universities in supporting innovation, and the organization of science. He is co-author of Tapping the Riches of Science: Universities and the Promise of Economic Growth (Harvard University Press, 2009) and The Entrepreneurship Movement and the University (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Wednesday, 16 June 2021, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Online
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education