What works for women in undergraduate physics?

An essay from the American Institute of Physics

"The biggest leak in the pipeline, though, appears in the college years following high school. If physics departments could learn how to persuade more of the girls who take high-school physics to major in physics in college, they would greatly increase the pool of women who might become professional physicists."


To develop a warm, female-friendly culture in these schools, it is important to focus on the first year, before students are fully integrated into the department. Department chairs should choose the undergraduate adviser and the introductory (calculus-based) class instructors carefully; those faculty members should be friendly, accessible people to whom students easily relate. Other useful ways to integrate the department include encouraging graduate students to informally mentor undergraduates and inviting undergraduates to seminars and departmental parties. It may also be useful for the undergraduate adviser or the department chair to meet regularly with women students to discuss any concerns.