Female Faculty: Why So Few and Why Care?

Chemistry. 2020 Jul 8;26(38):8319-8323. doi: 10.1002/chem.202002522. Epub 2020 Jun 25.


Despite slow ongoing progress in increasing the representation of women in academia, women remain significantly under-represented at senior levels, in particular in the natural sciences and engineering. Not infrequently, this is downplayed by bringing forth arguments such as inherent biological differences between genders, that current policies are adequate to address the issue, or by deflecting this as being "not my problem" among other examples. In this piece we present scientific evidence that counters these claims, as well as a best-practice example, Genie, from Chalmers University of Technology, where one of the authors is currently employed. We also highlight particular challenges caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we conclude by proposing some possible solutions to the situation and emphasize that we need to all do our part, to ensure that the next generation of academics experience a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable working environment.

Keywords: academia; bias; equality; gender; women in STEM.