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July 31, 2013

A Chemical Inbalance

So what do you do if you are the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh where 50% of the named chairs are female, as are 36% of the professors?

You worry—you worry about difficulties in recruiting younger women academics, you worry about why we can’t convince women that a career in science is stimulating, rewarding, can be flexible and is even sometimes well paid. And what do you do next? Well you write a book, make a documentary and develop a action plan.

I got to preview the documentary and found it most interesting. You can watch it on Monday and I hope you will as well.

And by the way I really like their action points for academia:
• Monitor our numbers
• Mentor our people and make sure the best are applying
• Create a workplace that supports everyone and allows flexibility
• Reclaim the meaning of feminism

July 11, 2013

Back and Forth

It's been a more than a bit since I've posted, but if I had to leave a post up for months, at least it was Terry's wonderful story.

Life here has been very good, busy and interesting, so now that I'm back I have a lot to say (I know I always have a lot to say; I'm just going to be back posting about it). To facilitate that process, we are moving to Word Press which probably means that the blog will be down for a couple of days. But do not despair, I'm back, really!

And to give you something to think about while I'm down, the following is from a slide I used in a presentation to the National Science Foundation yesterday.

In the US, Canada and the UK, women are under 20% of undergraduate engineering students.

In Denmark, Italy, Poland, Spain, Mongolia…, the percentage is about 33%.

In Indonesia it’s 48%.

The difference is not tied to academic skills, preparation or course taking; it is tied to interest, motivation, culture and being accepted as a member of the community.

We can do something about this!