Men still occupy the lion’s share of key positions in academic science according to the results of research conducted by the University of East Anglia.
More than 6,500 scientists, from 40 UK universities and a range of publicly-funded research institutes took part in the online survey. Preliminary results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington in February.
The research is in collaboration with the Athena Project based at the Royal Society in London. Results showed that not only do men occupy more key academic positions than women, but showed women scientists feel their contributions are not valued by their colleagues and that they are not encouraged to progress in their careers.
Full results for the survey will not be available until later this year, but preliminary findings suggest the gender balance in science is still tipped in favour of men. Key results from the survey are shown in the box *below, left, above, right.
The Athena project is supported by the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
- Higher proportions of men than women experience key, high-profile roles and responsibilities
- Most scientists who have achieved success say they were encouraged to take the next step in their career. However, fewer than 50% of women scientists aged 35-50 feel they are encouraged to develop their CV
- A significantly lower percentage of women than men feel their departments value their contributions
- Women are more successful at achieving a post on their first application, yet 44% feel disadvantaged in terms of promotion.
- Research output and attracting funding are seen as the key contributing factors for career progression. Conference keynote speaking was identified as another significant factor, but women have less experience in this area than men and women’s overall visibility appears to be lower.