Data from: Women are underrepresented on the editorial boards of journals in environmental biology and natural resource management
Cho, Alyssa H. et al. (2017), Data from: Women are underrepresented on the editorial boards of journals in environmental biology and natural resource management, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6jn86
Despite women earning similar numbers of graduate degrees as men in STEM disciplines, they are underrepresented in upper level positions in both academia and industry. Editorial board memberships are an important example of such positions; membership is both a professional honor in recognition of achievement and an opportunity for professional advancement. We surveyed 10 highly regarded journals in environmental biology, natural resource management, and plant sciences to quantify the number of women on their editorial boards and in positions of editorial leadership (i.e., Associate Editors and Editors-in-Chief) from 1985 to 2013. We found that during this time period only 16% of subject editors were women, with more pronounced disparities in positions of editorial leadership. Although the trend was towards improvement over time, there was surprising variation between journals, including those with similar disciplinary foci. While demographic changes in academia may reduce these disparities over time, we argue journals should proactively strive for gender parity on their editorial boards. This will both increase the number of women afforded the opportunities and benefits that accompany board membership and increase the number of role models and potential mentors for early-career scientists and students.