Links for Women in Science (and family men too)

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Published on: August 28, 2012
Some institutions which support women in science and family-friendly working practices

At the University where I did my PhD, male PIs far outnumbered female PIs in the School of Biological Sciences. The Head of School and all the Heads of Departments were male. The faculty lists of other universities show a similar story – and this is in life sciences, the science subject most dominated by girls at A-level. Gender balance among fellows of Royal Society is even more skewed, perhaps reflecting the wider scope of the Society, at 5% female.

These unbalanced ratios are not seen at school, university or even at post-doc level, so there is a time early in academic careers when more women than men leave academic research. The UK Resource Centre for Women in SET and the Royal Society of Chemistry commissioned a report to find out why. The report concluded that the lack of women in many areas of academia can seem isolating and off-putting; and an academic career demands a working life dictated by experiments and deadlines, with no room for part-time work or career breaks. The report also notes that both men and women are put off by the difficulties of life in academia, but more men than women are happy to make the sacrifices.

There are organisations and individuals calling for change, and providing support for female researchers at all stages of their careers. I have collected them below – feel free to get in touch if you know of any others.

Please note that many of these funds are available to men who require flexible working times and support for dependants. Most of them are not open now, but call for proposals annually or bi-annually. (more…)

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