In an interview with Stern.de, German economist Claudia Kemfert claims that international studies show that, for example, a male author benefits more from a scientific paper than a female author. This claim can be classified as “True”.
The interview with Ms. Kemfert was published as part of a campaign by the German medium Stern under the motto “We are quota women“. In the interview series, 40 women from various top positions in German society explain how the women’s quota would benefit everyone. One of these women is Claudia Kemfert. Kemfert is a German economist who has headed the department “Energy, Transportation, Environment” at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) since 2004. Moreover, she is Professor of Energy Economics and Energy Policy at the Leuphana University Lüneburg. She has also been a member of the Club of Rome’s Presidium since 2016.
Women’s quota in Germany
According to the DIW, a women’s quota is a gender quota which determines that women or men must be represented in a certain minimum proportion on committees such as the executive or supervisory boards of companies bound by the quota. In Germany, a gender quota of 30 percent has been in force in supervisory boards of listed and parity codetermined companies since 2016. If the proportion in a company is less than 30 percent, vacant positions must be given to women until the quota is met. In addition to Germany, there are nine other countries in Europe with a statutory quota for women. These include Norway, France, Belgium and Italy.
Underrepresentation of women in science
According to the Leipniz-Institut for social science the data collection for the women quota in science started back in 1980. They distinguish between habilitation, vocation and professorship as well as professorship in pay grade C4/W3.
Looking at the numbers of habilitation from 1980 until 2019, the percentage of women increased from 4.5 percent to almost 32 percent and increased more than sixfold.
The data collection for vocation started back in 1997 with not even 20 percent and increased up to 37 percent in 2019.
Regarding the numbers of professorship and professorship in pay grade C4/W3, they started increasing continuous since 1990. Here, too, the percentage of women quadrupled since 1990.
This data shows the access for women in leading positions in science. A continuous increase of the percentage of women, especially in professorship, started since the 1990s.
Despite the trending increase there is still an underrepresentation of women in the leading positions in science. If the linear increase of the last 20 years resumes the same, the gender balance in professorship will be received in 50 years.
Compared to the EU, “in 2018, of almost 15 million scientists and engineers in the EU, 59% were men and 41% women”, referring to the statistical office of the European Union.
Men were particularly overrepresented in manufacturing with 79%, while the gender ratio in the services sector was more balanced with 54% male and 46% female.
However, in four EU Member States, including Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia and Denmark, the majority of scientists and engineers were women.
In contrast, less than one third of scientists and engineers were women in Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg and Germany.
The citation gap between women and men and its consequences
The Cambridge University Press published a study about the Gender citation gap in international relations. They analysed the citation and publication pattern in 3000 articles published between 1980 and 2006 in international relations literature in a peer reviewed journal. This study confirms that there is a citation gap between women and men and women get systematically less cited than men.
Women tend to cite themselves less than men and men tend to cite men more often than women. Furthermore men are more productive in terms of quantity while women tend to release Articles with higher quality.
The citation gap is a concern especially for women that haven’t earned tenure yet.
The study also explains why the citation gap is a problem, citations are one of the most important measurements for quality in science.
The number of citations are important criteria for quality and influence of an author so it is also important to earn tenure. But the number of citations is not only important for the individual scholar but also for journals and institutions. It influences decisions about the distribution resources for a department including salary, it is an indicator for the excellence at a global level for institutions and determines the comparison between faculty departments across universities.
In short, the claim is true since the count of citations is important to determine quality and influence of an author and important to earn tenure in a scientific field, which influences future career options. Yes, men do profit from a scientific paper, more than women.
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RESEARCH | ARTICLE © Matthias Kwoll, Annika Reinker, Beyza Sentürk