Under-representation of women in academic bioscience

Although 50% of women receive graduate degrees in biology in the US only 27% of faculty members is female. In Europe conditions are far worse on academic careers for women, especially in the medical academic workforce.

Only 1 in 10 medical clinical professors are women in the United Kingdom (UK). No female professor was employed in 6 medical schools. The newer medical schools had a better gender balance than some of the more established schools.
For the lower ranks in medical academia these numbers are somewhat higher but still much lower than for men.
In FTEs lecturers in 2005: 36% were women, senior lecturers and readers: 25% were women. In 2005 there were a total of 3365 clinical academics, of whom 21% were women.

ADVANCE grants, a program at the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has led to some but still disappointing improvements.

the percentage of female full professors in the basic research faculty of the medical school increased from 18% in 2001 to 27% in 2009

What they did at the University of Michigan-Ann Arborwas:

  • Change the hiring procedures such as making sure enough women were job candidates and formalization of the assessment of job candidates
  • Departments were encouraged to examine their specific problems in achieving gender equity and apply for grants to help change these problems
  • Research grants for female faculty and leadership training for female professors were started
  • Equalize salary disparities between female and men

Nevertheless the progress is very small and pay disparities still exist.

No authors listed (2010). Crossing the gender divide Nature Medicine, 16 (5), 491-491 DOI: 10.1038/nm0510-491