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Even for Prizes, Women Get Less Money

Female researchers not only win fewer awards than their male colleagues, but when they do win prizes, they receive less money and less recognition, an analysis appearing as a Nature commentary reports.

A team of Northwestern University researchers analyzed the gender of the winners of 525 prizes in biomedicine and of 103 other prizes award by five major US biomedical societies. Their analysis encompasses winners from 1968 to 2017. They found that while the portion of female prizewinners has increased, it is still less than 30 percent. Since the early 2000s, they note, there have been roughly equal numbers of men and women in advanced biomedical degree programs.

But when women do win prizes, the Northwestern team found that they tended to win less-prestigious prizes and prizes related to teaching and advocacy rather than research. Women, they report, won about half of the service prizes and 27 percent of the research prizes between 2008 and 2017. Additionally, when the researchers tallied up the prize money, they found that women received an average 64.4 cents in prize money for every dollar men did.