Cultural correlates of gender integration in science

Cindy L. Cain, Erin Leahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Gender integration within science has been uneven: some fields have integrated women to almost equitable levels, while others remain male-dominated. Explanations for this variation abound, but few are able to assess empirically the relevance of disciplinary cultures in a systematic way. We take up this challenge by analysing accounts of scientific success in fields that integrated women to a large degree (Psychology and the Life Sciences) and fields that did not (Engineering and Physics). We qualitatively assess how the salience of relationships changed over time in these fields. We find that scientists from disciplines that have crossed the threshold whereby women are no longer tokens culturally value informal relationships more than those in which women remain a small numerical minority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-530
Number of pages15
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Disciplinary cultures
  • Gender disparities
  • Relationships
  • Science


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