In a new work financed by the European Commission, the data obtained confirms Spanish figures given in the latest Woman and Science report and shows that over 60% of researchers (six out of ten men and seven out of ten women) consider combining scientific activity with looking after children very difficult.
Within Gender Action Plans (GAPs), a team of researchers has prepared for the European Commission a report on the problems faced by female scientists in order to achieve greater participation of women in academic science.
GAPs include statistics on gender studies within research networks and summarise progress made in pursuit of equality. The data shows that women still suffer two types of discrimination: horizontal segregation (when they are only highly represented in certain fields such as biology and medicine) and vertical segregation, known as the ‘glass ceiling’.
Women valued, but without important posts
The study, prepared by Simona Palermo, Elisabetta Giuffra, Valeria Arzenton and Maximiano Bucchi, was based on a questionnaire containing diverse questions on the personal and professional status of researchers, and involved 143 scientists (53.1% men and 46.9% women).
The data, which now appears in the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) magazine of the Nature Publishing Group, shows that almost half of women complain about the fact that the most important European jobs in science are held by men. While 83.6% of men have a permanent position in their workplace, only 56% of women enjoy the same situation.
“The results confirm that many women participate more actively at the beginning of their scientific career, with their work ambitions reduced after having children”, explained Simona Palermo, the main author of the study and researcher at the Pagano de Lodi Technology Park, a centre of excellence in food biotechnology in Italy. “Even today, seven out of ten female researchers and six out of ten men believe it is very difficult combining a career in science with looking after children”, the scientist added.
“Research is governed by men”
To prepare this European report, participants had to describe gender equality obstacles. More than 75% of participants highlighted the frequency with which women are relegated to handling administrative or subordinate tasks, while only 33% of men claimed the same. “This may be due to the lack of perception of the problem or a preference to hide it”, the authors indicated to SINC.
Likewise, the study revealed significant differences between the way in which men and women assess gender issues. Specifically, 76.6% of women agree with the phrase ‘research is governed by men’, while only 47.3% of researchers back this affirmation.
Another significant piece of data is that 57.4% of women who participated in the study (compared with 27.3% of men) believe that female researchers are not able to reach the most important job positions due to a lack of competitive nature in fighting for their careers, a quality which has always been considered “purely masculine”.
In Europe, like Spain
Despite the increase in number of female researchers in Spain, there are still not as many women as men in science. According to the report that the Spanish Science and Technology Foundation (FECYT) presented at the end of 2007, only 14 out of every 100 professors in Spanish public universities are women.
Both studies concluded that women are hardly represented in many fields, they normally receive a lower salary and have fewer opportunities than their male colleagues to obtain an influential position.
SINC Team | alfa
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy