‘We’ve let the ball drop’ on increasing number of women in science

Higher education leaders and scientists from around the world identify ways to make it easier for women to succeed in scientific fields 

July 2, 2019

Judy Raper, Australia’s top female engineer and founding dean of PLuS Engineering, has criticised efforts to increase the number of women in science. While female scientists increased though the “eighties and nineties”, said Raper, “we’ve let the ball go” in higher education today. 

“I’ve been an engineer for 40 years and I'm sick of talking about it,” she told Times Higher Education at the recent Young Universities Summit at the University of Surrey.

Also weighing in on what changes need to be made to improve the number of women in scientific fields was Jessica Wade, a research associate in the department of physics at Imperial College London and a campaigner working to tackle gender bias in science. She said that more mentors offering specialist advice for women were needed.

She also called on universities, grant-funding bodies and publishers to work together to identify the “inherent secret bias that we can’t see” that is keeping women from being successful in scientific fields. 

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