Cash for female participation

May 8, 1998

British universities with the best policies for increasing female participation in science, engineering and technology could soon be rewarded with substantial cash grants, writes Julia Hinde.

A number of initiatives to attract and keep more women in science is being considered by the higher education funding councils, the Office of Science and Technology and the Commission for University and Career Opportunities. These are thought to include giving grants to institutions with specific initiatives such as female mentoring or confidence-building schemes.

Despite much discussion and effort, women are still rare in the top ranks of science. Just 7 per cent of professors in Britain are women, compared with 18 per cent in the United States and 14 per cent in Australia. Only 3 per cent of British science professors and Royal Society fellows are female.

In Brussels last week, a conference on women and science heard that despite initiatives to change the situation in many countries, the number of women entering science, engineering and technology is still low and women are very likely to drop off further up the academic hierarchy.

One delegate described the path of women undertaking a scientific career:

"At the beginning there is an iron gate, then a sticky floor. At the top there is a glass ceiling, and in between a hurdle race."

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Programme Director (GSA Singapore) GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign

  • Lisa Mckenzie, Class War Party candidate, Chingford

Anarchist academic reflects on what her recent brush with the law says about threats to academic freedom

  • Worker checks thin-film silicon solar module, Truebbach

Asia doubles representation while European countries face varied performance