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Commercialization and Gender Gaps in STEM Graduate Student Labor Mechanisms: An Analysis Using HLM


Women in STEM fields often face multidimensional gendered disadvantage via gendered occupational segregation within academic labor in terms of pay, type of work, institution of employment, rank of position and perceived prestige of work and job (Baker, 2012; Ceci, Ginther, Kahn, & Williams, 2015; Ecklund, Lincoln, & Tansey, 2012; Fox, 2001; Fox & Stephan, 2001; Frehill, Abreu, & Zippel, 2015; Kulis, Sicotte, & Collins, 2002; Mavriplis et al., 2010; Umbach, 2007). Additionally, these multidimensional gender gaps are persisting in a context of increasing commercial influence, resulting in increased commodification of academic research(Slaughter & Leslie, 1997; Slaughter & Rhoads, 2004). Using critical frameworks, this study applies a multilevel model to data with departments nested within higher education institutions, to analyze gender funding disproportionality among those receiving reproductive (R-GFD) funding mechanisms and those receiving productive funding mechanisms (P-GFD). Results find that field average ratio of productive funding to reproductive funding is associated with increased P-GFD and decreased R-GFD, while both department and field average gender disparities were both significantly associated with change in R-GFD. Furthermore, this study found an association between the share of R&D expenditures, representing market influence with a department, and R-GFD. Results as they relate to the expectations based in the theoretical frameworks are discussed.

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