Alexander Gates Presentation

Alexander Gates will give the talk, "Quantifying the impact of systemic inequality on careers: gender differences in science & art."

Abstract: Attempts to quantify the influence of systemic inequality on careers are hindered by a complex interplay between multiple factors: individual success is not just grounded in individual performance but is impacted by institutional practices that limit access to opportunities for some individuals and offer a winners-take-all outcome for others.  To disentangle individual performance from the structural patterns that reinforce systemic inequality, it is not enough to focus on selected institutions or single metrics, but we need to map entire ecosystems.  Today, I will discuss two studies quantifying systemic gender inequality in science & art.  First, in science, significant gender differences in total productivity and impact are identified across 1.5 million STEM careers.  Paradoxically, the increase in the number of women academics over the past 60 years has increased these gender differences.  Through comprehensive matching quasi-experiments, we show that these gender differences are largely explained by different publishing career lengths and dropout rates, not bibliometric performance.  Second, a massive longitudinal dataset capturing the exhibition and auction careers of artists is used to confirm gender differences in art exhibitions, an effect that increases for more prestigious institutions.  By mapping the network of artist trajectories and applying a novel measure of institutional bias, we reveal echo-chambers which limit the access for some artists to future exhibition opportunities and explain the gender differences in access to the auction market.  Taken together, this quantitative perspective of gender inequality in science and art suggests that it is not enough to just increase the participation of women, we must break down the ``glass fences'' which systematically impede success based on gender.  

Alexander Gates is an associate research scientist at the Center for Complex Networks Research, Northeastern University. His research explores how interconnectedness shapes the social, scientific, and business world around us.  Though a combination of tools and techniques from Data Science, Network Science, and Computational Social Science, Alex studies the interplay between the temporal dynamics of individuals and the emergent structural patterns of societies.  Before arriving at Northeastern, Alex received a joint PhD degree in Informatics (complex systems track) and Cognitive Science from Indiana University, Bloomington, an MSc from Kings College London in complex systems modeling and a BA in mathematics from Cornell University.

Meeting ID: 810 0825 1125
Password: 535557

Quesions? Contact Lori Kelso