There's an intriguing piece in Slate on what looks like a very well designed study of the role of faculty gender on female students' career trajectories.
A few highlights:
The authors persuasively demonstrate that the overall male-female [student] performance difference is due in large part to the fact that men dominate the Air Force Academy science faculty (as is the case in most schools), with only 23 percent of courses taught by women....
the influence of professor gender was even starker for the set of students who were math whizzes when they entered the Academy (those with math SAT scores above 700)....
having a male instructor didn't just affect female cadets' performance in their first-year classes—ramifications could be seen throughout their undergraduate careers. Not surprisingly, students who did well in their introductory science classes were more likely to go on to obtain science degrees (and presumably go on to science-related professions). Among high-math-SAT students—those most likely to be the ones to go on to obtain science degrees—the authors calculate that having a women-only roster of faculty would create gender parity among science majors.
The upside is that this is a positive feedback loop: as more women join the faculty, the proportion of women further back in the pipeline increases.