Network marginalization of women in the workplace: A case in academia

Christina D. Falci, Megumi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This research explores gender differences in the local (e.g., network size) and global (e.g., nestedness) structure of a faculty member’s network across three types of workplace relationships. Applying network and social psychological theories, we hypothesize that women will experience marginalization within informal network ties, including research and friendship. In contrast, we do not expect any gender differences in formal networks connections measured as committee comembership. Using survey data drawn from faculty within 22 STEM departments at a large Midwestern Research I university, we find that faculty women have smaller research and friendship networks than men. Moreover, women are more likely than men to reside on the periphery relative to being in the core of research and friendship networks. We find no gender differences in the network structure of committee comembership networks. Across informal and formal networks, we further find no gender differences in a faculty member’s connection to central actors in the network (i.e., recursive centrality).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-175
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Faculty
  • Gender
  • Networks
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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