Women in majority on science courses but face industry barriers.

‘The quiet truth is this: women are doing science. And not only “more women than ever before”, as the New Scientist puts it. In fact, in lots of scientific disciplines women outnumber men.

Don’t believe me? Recent data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (although not available online, I requested the gender breakdown from its press office) shows that 69% of students studying medical technology-related degrees are women, as are 86% of those studying degrees in polymers. A whopping 77% of students studying veterinary science are female. The figure for psychology is even higher at 79%. The majority of students studying degrees in anthropology (72%); ophthalmics (69%); anatomy, physiology and pathology (64%); zoology (63%); forensic and archaeological sciences (61%); and pharmacology, toxicology and pharmacy (61%) are female.

European social science research shows that male and female scientists often have different types of partners: male scientists more frequently have a stay-at-home partner looking after the children, while female scientists are more likely to have another scientist as a spouse. So male scientists might not need family-friendly working practices to have a successful career but female scientists do. Hence the loss of women in the “leaky pipeline” of scientific careers. And that is to say nothing of the research that found scientists perceived job applicants to be less competent when they had female names.’ - Guardian

 

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