UOP author featured in Nature Magazine

Good news -- one of our authors was featured in Nature Magazine yesterday!

Monique Frize, the author of The Bold and the Brave: A History of Women in Science and Engineering was interviewed about the underrepresentation of women in the academic sciences. It's a great article, which details the strategies being used by universities and in industry to increase gender diversity in fields with fewer women.

Robin Mejia writes:

When Monique Frize started at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, in the 1960s, she wanted to study engineering. At the time, her gender was more than an anomaly. “I was the first one.The dean and the department chair tried to dissuade me and told me to stay in chemistry,which I hated,” Frize recalls. “I wanted to be an electrical engineer.”

Today, a story such as Frize’s sounds almost anachronistic — its overt sexism something that a modern university would be unlikely to tolerate. Yet studies show that in Europe and North America, women are still significantly underrepresented in science, technology,engineering and mathematics, at least at the top levels.

In Europe, only 11% of senior academic researchers are women, according to the European Commission 2009 report She Figures. In the United States, a 2009 National Research Council (NRC) study found that 21% of senior science faculty members and 6% of senior engineering faculty members were female.

“The [tenure] processes have not changed to reflect the lives of young professors,” says Catherine Didion, the director of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine at the US National Academies based in Washington DC. Universities are attempting to address these shortcomings (see ‘Increasing gender diversity of the candidate pool’). Some have sought policies to make the academic track more family-friendly, such as pausing the tenure clock after the birth of a child. Others have made a concerted effort to broaden faculty searches or offer mentoring programmes. Such moves should provide new solutions to an old problem — especially for those candidates who know that these options exist.

To read the full article, visit this link:


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