Sex Roles

, Volume 58, Issue 3–4, pp 235–250 | Cite as

Training and Mentoring of Chemists: A Study of Gender Disparity

  • Susan A. Nolan
  • Janine P. Buckner
  • Cecilia H. Marzabadi
  • Valerie J. Kuck
Original Article


This study was conducted to compare women’s and men’s retrospective perceptions of the mentoring they received during their training and career development in chemistry. Participants were 455 graduates (135 women) who received doctoral degrees from 11 top US chemistry programs over a 5-year period (1988–1992). In 2003, graduates completed surveys of undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, and initial employment experiences. In line with Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent et al., Journal of Vocational Behavior 45:79–122, 1994), which posits that perceptions of barriers can affect career decisions, results suggest that women perceived that they received less mentoring than men at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels of training, likely related to gender differences in eventual career success. Possible interventions at the individual and institutional levels are discussed.


Chemistry Science Mentoring Gender equity  Social Cognitive Career Theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan A. Nolan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Janine P. Buckner
    • 1
  • Cecilia H. Marzabadi
    • 2
  • Valerie J. Kuck
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Center for Women’s StudiesSeton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Center for Women’s StudiesSeton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologySeton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA

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