Women are now catching up to men in the upper ranks of science, Discover magazine reports. In 2009, five of the 13 Nobel Laureates were women and in that same year, women earned more than half of the doctorates awarded in the US. But women remain underrepresented in their fields and are still finding it difficult to gain equal treatment. Discover's Sheril Kirshenbaum recently sat down with four leading female scientists to ask them about how the research community can begin to "bridge the gap" and make the most of the women working in science. Shirley Malcolm, head of the directorate for education and human resources at AAAS, told Kirshenbaum that gender discrimination isn't just a problem for women, but for families and institutions as well, and that it's important for institutions to accommodate family life for both men and women. Yale's Joan Steitz said that while men and women have a nearly equal success rate in getting NIH grants, women tend to ask for less money and resources than men do, on average. MIT's Sara Seager told Discover that it's important for female scientists to find peer support groups and mentors, and above all to be "assertive" and "have confidence."
Empowering Women, Empowering Science
May 04, 2011