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
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Information Technology