There are many women who start math and science careers - almost as many as men. There are many programs designed to draw women to math and science careers, including paying them more, providing mentors, providing family support, giving faster promotions, and giving high status. Many women at the highest levels of math and science in the younger generations report that the men in their lives, colleagues as well as family, are very supportive of their careers. The world has changed for women in math and science.
Yet women also leave math and science careers 2.8 times more than men do. Women in math and science are 13 times more likely to leave the workforce altogether. They are not leaving for higher-paying jobs -- they have the highest-paying jobs already. And women are more likely than men to leave math and science careers even if they do not have children.
Susan Pinker reports that even women who are very good at math and science are likely to leave good jobs because they want to do work that they find more meaningful. And the more freedom that women have to choose, the more likely they are to leave demanding math and science careers to work with people, for a more immediate social good, and part time.
Women in general are likely to use financial freedom to work less, but on things they value more. Men, by contrast, are more likely to seek higher pay and more responsibility for their own sake. Creating a male-model career path for women has not resulted in women pursuing those careers like men. With ability, money, and freedom, women pursue careers more like women.