Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wharton Study Shows the Shocking Result When Women and Minorities Email Their Professors


If you're a woman or minority student looking for a mentor, don't hold your breath. New research has found that university professors exhibit a bias in favor of their white male students, information that, while perhaps not unexpected, is seriously bad news for the nation's aspiring academics.

According to a segment produced by NPR, researchers led by the Wharton School's Katherine Milkman emailed 6,500 professors from 89 disciplines at the top 259 schools, pretending to be students. These emails replicated the same message; the only variable was the sender's name — for example, "Brad Anderson, Meredith Roberts, Lamar Washington, LaToya Brown, Juanita Martinez, Deepak Patel, Sonali Desai, Chang Wong, Mei Chen" — deliberately crafted in order to test the racial and gender bias in professor response. The type of student who garnered the most responses? The white male. As Milkman told NPR, professors "ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from white males. ... We see a 25-percentage-point gap in the response rate to Caucasian males versus women and minorities."

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