Eradicating Gender Stereotyping: How can Athena Swan Awards Help?

There is nothing like seeing gender stereotyping through reverse eyes to highlight its stupidity. Women are used to intrusive, inappropriate questions about their looks and dress, even in professional situations (see this recent story about Russian astronauts for an example); they are used to being judged by criteria quite different from men, be it about being aggressive rather than assertive or being expected to be the one to sort out the childcare and the laundry. But, turn these statements around – as Twitter user @manwhohasitall does – and it really brings it home. Look at these recent examples of his (I presume given the twitterhandle) wit:

  • TODAY’S QUESTION: Is it time we focused on male politicians’ POLITICS instead of their hair, clothes and parental status?
  • To all intelligent men. Don’t be AFRAID of your intelligence! It’s OK to be a man and be intelligent. Some women actually find it attractive.
  • I have absolutely nothing against male chief executives, as long as they are able to make tough decisions.
  • Dad with a career? Pay attention to your eyes. Dark circles from lack of sleep can make any man feel insecure & come across as incapable.

And, most relevant to this blogpost:

  • “I don’t like being called a ‘male scientist’. I’m just a scientist,” says Ben. Aren’t some people funny? He IS a male scientist!

The trouble is, it’s still too easy to see these comments as ‘normal’ when referring to women – in the media or in person. Should I, for instance, in participating in a recent ‘photo opportunity’ highlighting three successful young researchers who all happened to be female, have made a fuss when the photographer referred to them not as ‘intellectual’ but as ‘attractive’? It feels churlish in a way; the male photographer meant no harm (I know that’s no defence), probably thought he was being complimentary, and yet it is totally demeaning in a professional context.

For university departments these fundamental issues need to be addressed. Producing lists of committee members where the women are marked with an {f} (as happened in my own university until rather recently) or asterisked (as I saw in a separate external list just this week) immediately implies everyone else is male by default (and yes I know we’re not necessarily binary either, but I think we have to start there). Whereas it is as well to know what the gender make-up of a committee is, marking the men with an {m} and the women with an {f} removes the presumption that if you’re not male you’re odd.

We should be sure that people are judged solely on merit, not filtered through the eyes of what is deemed appropriate, whether they talk in a low- or high-pitched voice or happen to have an elderly parent or a toddler to worry about. We should be aware that student surveys tend to view male lecturers as more knowledgeable and professional (see here and here) so that such ratings should be used with extreme caution in internal reviews; that women who attempt to negotiate a higher salary are penalised and hence a gender pay gap is likely to persist for the foreseeable future without compensating action being taken by the management; that women are often assumed to be unambitious and, particularly if they are mothers, less competent than men of similar standing but this is, indeed, an assumption not based on evidence; and that someone who talks loudly and at length doesn’t necessarily know what they’re talking about more than someone who is less domineering (indeed, it’s often the opposite) and should be treated accordingly.

University leaders at every level need to bear these and many similar issues in mind when it comes to appointments, promotions and career opportunities. Bigger – be it grant income, h index or group size – does not necessarily mean better. Those who are the arbiters of people’s fates need to be much more conscious of the subtleties of what merit and success look like, not fall back on measures that are increasingly shown to be unhelpful and systematically disadvantaging certain sections – notably including women – in academe.

Athena Swan committees and diversity leads/equality champions (according to the language an institution uses and the structures they put in place) should act as the conscience for these leaders. They are able to raise examples of both good and bad practice that they come across; to share action plans across departments and to make suggestions for improving the working environment for everyone. But more particularly, they can be the conduits for passing on information to the leadership about local issues that are specific rather than systemic. These may relate to poor behaviour in a pocket of a department – inappropriate posters, comments or actions that don’t amount to harassment but do amount to a difficult atmosphere. They may be down to a particular research group having seminars at 1730 and then heading off to the pub, thereby excluding parents or those who don’t believe the pub is a comfortable place to hold research discussions. Or they may arise because certain parts of a large department are failing to apply recommended practice about matters such as (KIT) Keeping in Touch Days and requests for part-time or non-standard hours of work leading to uneven responses to such requests.

The Athena Swan awards have proved to be a significant factor in encouraging conversations about diversity issues and disseminating examples of good practice. As long as they continue to be about facilitating such conversations and internal reflections their importance will remain. If any institution starts to use them, not as the motivator for debate and action but as simply a tick-box exercise which has to be gone through for the colour of the logo on their headed notepaper their worth will instantly be diminished. Departments need to keep their eyes on the primary goal of creating a more equal and creative workplace and not being fooled into believing that an award confers some sort of prestige and that no further work is needed.

Athena Swan has to be about a work in progress. Every submission’s action plan is only a staging post on the road to eradicating inequality. It is unlikely that, in my lifetime at least, there won’t be more that a department can do to improve gender equality (and that’s before we start on race or disability issues). Think of the action plan as just the beginning of the work, not the end itself.


Help us do science! I’ve teamed up with researcher Paige Brown Jarreau to create a survey of Athene Donald’s Blog readers (as well as 49 other blogs) during October and now running till Nov 20th. By participating, you’ll be helping me improve my own blog and contributing to SCIENCE on blog readership. For completing the survey, readers will be entered into a draw for a $50.00 Amazon gift card (100 available, or guaranteed 2 per specific blog included in this survey), plus FREE science art from Paige’s Photography for participating, as well as a chance to win a t-shirt and other perks! It should only take 10-15 minutes to complete. You can find the survey here:


This post was originally written for QMUL’s Institute of Dentistry E+D pages.


Posted in Science Culture, Women in Science | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Lisa Jardine, Health and Sickness

Like so many others, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Lisa Jardine last week. She seems to have been able to cross many disciplinary boundaries and make an impact on so many individuals and spheres, her loss will leave a huge hole in the cultural and intellectual landscape of the UK. I only met her a handful of times but felt as if we had instantly connected and that she had something very special to offer the world as well as her friends. If you want to know more about her, try listening to her Desert Island Discs (recorded this summer).

She and I met for the first time, appropriately enough, at the Royal Society in 2013 at one of the Summer Exhibition Soirees. By then I had read some of her books – notably Hooke’s biography (The Curious Life of Robert Hooke) – and knew she had worked with the Royal Society over the acquisition of some of Hooke’s papers (as Sir Martin Rees mentions in his own remembrances). At the dinner for the soiree I sat down randomly at an empty place and introduced myself to the woman next to me. ‘You’re one of my heroes’ she said, to my embarrassment, but I certainly wanted to return the compliment as soon as I found out who my dinner companion was. Within minutes I found myself signed up for a small contribution to her BBC Radio 4 series ‘The Seven Ages of Science’ being put together at the time. This series is a wonderful listen, and still available to download from the BBC. During that conversation I felt as if I had found a new friend, and we kept in touch loosely thereafter, including via Twitter.

I last saw her when she came as a College Guest to our Scholars’ Feast last autumn and last was in touch with her to congratulate her on her election to the Royal Society this summer as an Honorary Fellow. It was clear how much this honour meant to her. Her death is a massive loss. Perhaps what convinces me personally more than anything of her impact was how much she meant to my elderly mother (and always had). Neither a scientist nor a historian, there was no obvious reason for my mother to hold Lisa in such high esteem, but from hearing her repeatedly on the radio it was clear that Lisa was an intellectual voice who struck a chord with my mother and who therefore meant a lot to her in a non-specialist way.

This week health and sickness has anyhow been much in my mind following an accident befalling my husband leading to his patellar tendon being ruptured. This, it turns out, is a big deal. Basically the loss of the tendon means the total decoupling of the kneecap and hence the total inability to do anything with the relevant leg. Nevertheless, if you have to have an accident like this, having it in a Cambridge College is an excellent place to choose: from the porter who sat with my husband during the time it took for an ambulance to arrive for a non-emergency case (a couple of hours I believe: I was in London on BSA Presidential business and so not fulfilling an appropriate wifely role of picking up the pieces), to the staff who had transformed the Master’s Lodge with a downstairs hospital bed by the time Matthew came home from the hospital, to the cleaning staff who work around the chaos an invalid causes in a home, to the academics who have borne with my distraction and absences (both physical and medical) – my profound thanks! Matthew was home within 24 hours of the surgery to repair the tendon but is now lumbered with a rigid brace for the next period (currently of indeterminate length) until he is allowed to start bending his knee through small angles. If you think about how you live and move you will realise such limb rigidity is more than a little constraining.

My remarks above about my wifely role are said with feeling. There are times when being Master and/or a professor of physics is all-consuming. But, as my husband pointed out (and as I relayed as I returned to a formal dinner for one of our donors after a quick exit to pick up the painkillers my husband had dropped), there are times when family comes first by a very long way. To the Chinese guests attending that particular dinner – held only a tiny distance from the Master’s Lodge, albeit in the main College building – this clearly made a lot of sense. It is important to retain a sense of proportion. For the time being I am more wife than anything else: academic life in all its shifting shapes can wait a little (blogging may be more erratic too) and I’m not (I hope) going to feel guilty about that.

Of course, in the weeks ahead, finding the balance between my different roles is going to be a major challenge. In the critical period, when a patient cannot be left to fend for themselves, what one has to do is obvious: be there to soothe, to tuck up, to be leant on and to provide plenteous fluids. As the healing progresses (and goodness, it is also worth thinking about the wondrous world of materials science that has given us appropriate sutures, strong and light enough crutches, a curious and ingenious device called a leg lift and plastics for the sharps’ bin) the decisions about how long my husband can be left to fend for himself as I attempt to fulfil my different duties is less clear-cut.

Anyone whose emails have been left unread – apologies; to those whose appointments have been deferred at short notice, I will reschedule; to guests at various functions at which I have been distracted or completely absent, bear with me. To those who worked so hard to make my husband as comfortable as possible in the hospital and who mucked in within the College to keep us afloat – my gratitude. I hope, for both my husband and my own sakes, this period of discombobulation will be brief.


Help us do science! I’ve teamed up with researcher Paige Brown Jarreau to create a survey of Athene Donald’s Blog readers (as well as 49 other blogs) during October and now running till Nov 20th. By participating, you’ll be helping me improve my own blog and contributing to SCIENCE on blog readership. For completing the survey, readers will be entered into a draw for a $50.00 Amazon gift card (100 available, or guaranteed 2 per specific blog included in this survey), plus FREE science art from Paige’s Photography for participating, as well as a chance to win a t-shirt and other perks! It should only take 10-15 minutes to complete. You can find the survey here:



Posted in People | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Asking the Right Questions

The quote from CP Scott, long-time editor of the (Manchester) Guardian, elegantly says ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred.’ As a scientist I like gathering evidence, getting at the facts and so, when Paige Brown Jarreau asked me to participate in her survey of science blogs it seemed like a good idea. If you haven’t already completed her survey then perhaps now (until October 30th; now extended to November 20th) is a good time to do so. Her inducement to me, and other participants, was that from the analysis I would learn useful things such as why readers are motivated to read my blog, what they perceive I’m doing effectively in terms of content (and presumably what I’m failing at) and something about the demographics of the readership, all information suitably anonymised.

That opening quote of course implies that the facts are black and white. That may or may not be true even in such a simple task as someone ticking a box on a questionnaire. Unfortunately, when it comes to memory this most definitely isn’t always so: there are many shades of grey when trying to remember something from the past, even if only yesterday. There are also those sorts of questions that people ask that instantly make you feel guilty, forgetful or as if you’ve got the answer wrong. It can be entirely innocuous – the dentist asking me whether I’m on any medication, for instance – yet still I can end up thinking ‘was that right, did I forget something?’

Currently I seem to be being exposed to far too many interviews and, in that context I’m rarely certain I got it ‘right’ or that, even with the best of intentions, that I’m speaking the truth. Because, in some sense which no doubt the more philosophically-minded could label with some appropriate -ism one cannot speak the truth like this. Reinventing oneself 20, 30 or more years after the event, telling the questioner about things that happened in the school playground or why physics was obviously what I wanted to do when I first encountered it at 13, how much accuracy is there likely to be in that? And the more I get asked the questions the more I find ‘suitable’ answers that are liable to get stylised because they ‘work’ and yet they become a remembered reality rather than the truth.

I don’t want to be difficult. I understand that someone carrying out research for their dissertation into what makes someone successful in academic science is bound to go back to how one started out. I am quite sure that it is relevant what sort of career advice I got at school (essentially none), whether my physics teacher was qualified in physics (she was) or had I been surrounded by family members who worked in STEM (I wasn’t). Yet nevertheless it is all too easy to see how truth gets distorted. If asked whether my parents went to university the answer is no, neither of them did. Yet that masks the fact that other family members did and there was undoubtedly a view in the family that if I wanted to go to university, go I should. Saying that neither of my parents did so can give the impression I was the first in the family to participate in higher education and that was simply not so. So facts may be deeply misleading even when true.

That answer is at least is a hard fact to which I know the answer. Another recent question, in another context and another interview, was to name and describe an object which had meant a lot to me as I was progressing in my academic life. Not something associated with my research, not a person – both of which are questions I’ve had to answer before and which are comparatively easy – but an object. This question, like ‘why did you choose physics?’ doesn’t really have an answer for me. However, ‘don’t know’ I fear is not acceptable (not least because the interviewers want to illustrate it in this case, and an illustration of ‘don’t know’ might be problematic).

The example given was a fountain pen, in order to get my brain in gear, but this didn’t really kickstart any fruitful line of thought. I am still struggling to come up with something that could possibly fit the bill. I tried to reconstruct my desk at different periods of my life, to see if there was some common thread, but I’m not particularly into paperweights, gonks and mascots or pictures hanging above my workspace so that didn’t get me far. I’ve a germ of an idea which, by some stretch of the imagination might work for the purpose, but it’s not satisfactory to have to do this.

So, seeking evidence is all very well but what if the question posed is the wrong question, as I feel of the search for an object? That of course is so often what one’s research reveals. The answer does not lie in the question asked and one has to stop, think again, dream up another hypothesis and another set of experiments. It’s a challenge. It’s exciting when finally the right question is identified. But that is not how the interviewer trying to turn my life into….whatever it is they’re trying to turn it into operates.

The myth of the myth of the great (wo)man in science may lurk behind too many of the questions, implicitly assuming that dig out my bio and all will be revealed about why I made it to professor and the young woman at the lab bench next to me did not. I am not sympathetic to the idea of the ‘lone genius’ anyhow, but I also think 1000 words trying to describe me from childhood to professor is unlikely to reveal with much certainty what actually helped along the way. If I don’t know the answers, how can I respond to the questions? If they’re the wrong questions anyhow, only some dubious construction of a faint verisimilitude of me might emerge. The evidence may not help and the apparent facts be less than sacred.


Help us do science! I’ve teamed up with researcher Paige Brown Jarreau to create a survey of Athene Donald’s Blog readers (as well as 49 other blogs) during October – now running till Nov 20th. By participating, you’ll be helping me improve my own blog and contributing to SCIENCE on blog readership. For completing the survey, readers will be entered into a draw for a $50.00 Amazon gift card (100 available, or guaranteed 2 per specific blog included in this survey), plus FREE science art from Paige’s Photography for participating, as well as a chance to win a t-shirt and other perks! It should only take 10-15 minutes to complete. You can find the survey here:

Updated Oct 30 to reflect extension of survey date



Posted in Science Culture | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Career Trajectories: Not Always Straight and Easy

It is all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking anyone who has reached the top of their particular tree has travelled in a straight line from their teenage years on and have had the cards always stacked in their favour. This week I have come across some remarkable examples of those whose lives have not been like that at all. For those who are just starting out, as well as those further on in life, I hope you will find these vignettes as striking and impressive as I have.

At the start of last week I led a public ‘conversation’ in my College with a former student and then Fellow (and now Honorary Fellow since she left and went to Oxford): Professor Dame Carol Robinson. Carol’s career has been truly remarkable in its lack of following the standard ‘rules’. If you want to hear the full dialogue, it is available as a podcast, but I’ll just pull out a couple of surprising facts. First of all, Carol left school at 16 and went to work as a technician at Pfizer in Sandwich (as it then was).

There she was responsible for a mass spectrometer, and this technique has sat at the heart of her research ever since. But, leaving school at 16 and ending up (after gaining qualifications as a day-release student and then taking a PhD here at Churchill) as the first woman to be a professor of chemistry in Cambridge – and then repeating that achievement at Oxford is remarkable enough in itself. Add in the fact that she took 8 years out after her PhD to bring up 3 children before returning to the workforce as a postdoc at 38 and you can see quite what an extraordinary career path hers has been. It should inspire others. You don’t have to travel in a straight line; you can step back or start late and yet still achieve a fantastic amount.

Just to reinforce this message, starting late was also a key feature in the life of one of the women in the audience for this conversation: Jane Clarke. Also a professor of chemistry here in Cambridge, she was a teacher till her 40’s when she started her PhD. This year she was elected to the Royal Society: another remarkable trajectory.

Later in the week I went to Manchester where I was honoured along with four other individuals with an Honorary Degree . The evening’s ceremony gave me much more food for thought about our life paths. First up on the platform was poet Lemn Sissay. He was being doubly honoured, not only as an Hon DLitt but also as the incoming Chancellor of the University of Manchester. Much was said in his praise by the well-known writer Jeannette Winterson. She spoke in warm terms of all Lemn has done and written, drawing parallels between her own life as an adopted child and his as a child of Ethiopian origin brought up in care. These were neither of them children who started with anything approaching a silver spoon in their mouths and yet look at what they have both achieved through their words and lives.

Then onto the platform came Joan Bakewell. From a grammar school in Stockport, to Cambridge she went on to become a pioneering woman at the BBC. To do this she had to overcome stereotyping and negativity as she fought to make her mark as a presenter and thought leader. Having to contend with remarks such as ‘the thinking man’s crumpet’  (thanks Frank Muir) she has nevertheless emerged seemingly unscathed as Baroness Bakewell of Stockport and President of Birkbeck College.

By comparison the lives of myself and Nicholas Hytner probably seemed quite humdrum in trajectory, but this was most certainly not the case of the final honorary graduand Dame Janet Smith. Probably best known for her unenviable task of leading the Harold Shipman and Jimmy Saville Enquiries and as an Appeal Court Judge, she also had a curious start in her career. Having won a place at Cambridge to read Natural Sciences (Chemistry) she chose instead to get married and never took a degree at all. Instead she went via a route into law that I think no longer exists simply taking exams from the Bar – and hence rose and rose ending up on the bench. But, as she admitted when she made a few remarks on behalf of all of us, the lack of a degree always made her feel different, not quite belonging. Indeed, an impostor although she never used that word. That was indeed the word that Carol Robinson used about herself for exactly the same reason: no (first) degree.

Now, clearly both Carol and Janet set out a long time ago and times are indubitably different. But they are living proof that not doing things in the sausage machine way, not simply getting on one end of a conveyor belt so that you can step off at the other, does not preclude success. Nor, as the choice of Manchester graduands demonstrates, does gender, sexual orientation or skin colour: Manchester had certainly done well when it came to diversity. No doubt that was not the primary consideration when the group of us were chosen, but nevertheless a fact remarked upon by many that evening.

I write these remarks to remind people that success comes in many shapes and forms. It does not require following a set of rules slavishly; many people who do just that fail miserably for all kinds of reasons. You do have to aspire, even if inwardly you quake, you do have to want to do just the next thing and the next. But don’t let assumptions of what is ‘right’ or ‘normal’ deter you from trying.


Help us do science! I’ve teamed up with researcher Paige Brown Jarreau to create a survey of Athene Donald’s Blog readers (as well as 49 other blogs) during October 19-30th. By participating, you’ll be helping me improve my own blog and contributing to SCIENCE on blog readership. For completing the survey, readers will be entered into a draw for a $50.00 Amazon gift card (100 available, or guaranteed 2 per specific blog included in this survey), plus FREE science art from Paige’s Photography for participating, as well as a chance to win a t-shirt and other perks! It should only take 10-15 minutes to complete. You can find the survey here:




Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Looking After the Ada’s of the Future

Ada Lovelace Day (on Tuesday) is not just a day for celebrating one remarkable aristocratic woman who dared to break the mould the majority of her female colleagues were content to slot into, it is a day to look forward to a world in which women do not feel there is a mould that they are expected to occupy – be it in the world of technology, science or in any other milieu. Lovelace perhaps inherited her father’s (Lord Byron) tendency to be unconventional; her mother (Anne Isabella Byron) was certainly terrified his genes might out, which was why Ada was educated in maths and science to counteract any poetic tendencies. Through her interactions with Charles Babbage Ada was able to turn her indubitably able brain to fascinating challenges as Babbage developed the concept of his difference machine. Like Mary Somerville, her sometime mentor, she was able to approach the world of mathematics through the more appropriately feminine (in 19th century terms) route of translating a male master’s work. It was Laplace in Somerville’s case and Luigi Menabrea‘s memoir on Babbage’s proposed machine, the Analytical Engine, in Lovelace’s. But, for the average woman of the nineteenth century, even the average middle-class or aristocratic woman, education in the maths and exact sciences was simply not on offer.

So, we have progressed. We have progressed significantly. Unlike Jocelyn Bell Burnell in the 1960’s, female physics students now are unlikely to be cat-called as they enter a lecture theatre; there are no quotas for women entering medical school (as was the case in my undergraduate days in the 1970’s) and the British Antarctic Survey has no problems with allowing women onto their Antarctic scientific stations, again something that applied to my generation of aspiring female Antarctic scientists and engineers. Nevertheless, active sexual harassment of students is still an issue, as the recent story of University of California astronomer Geoff Marcy makes clear. Particularly shocking as that university seems to think that at the end of a long enquiry a mild reprimand not to continue to harass is an adequate response. Just as with equal pay which, 40+ years on from the Equal Pay Act still can seem like a distant dream, the playing field for women in science remains anything but level.

This isn’t a case of simply bashing men either. The evidence is that women are as prone to ‘unconscious bias’ as men, something the depressing 2012 PNAS study made all too clear. I would like to think I am free of such biases, or at least so well aware of any instantaneous stereotyping that I may be liable to that I am able to overcome it, but can I be sure? My score on the Project Implicit test – which deals with that instantaneous response – is certainly skewed towards associating men more than women with science. I need some test of my slower and more considered response to identify whether or not in practice on an appointment committee I am still likely to exhibit bias, although I don’t know if such a sort of test exists.

As we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day on Tuesday, as we celebrate all the women who are already active and making a difference in their many and various spheres of science around the world (the Day has indeed become an international celebration as its progenitor makes clear) we should never lose sight of all those young girls who are prevented from ever embarking on the study of a subject that might be the focus of their dreams and talent alike. At the fundamental level of a basic education this is the campaign that Malala fights with such passion, but in those countries where no one disputes the right of a girl to education itself, we can still hinder their progression in many subtle ways. And those who make it into higher or further education often continue to find themselves fighting against those microinequities that hold them back or cause them to lose energy to the extent they give up that fight and move into some other occupation.

If women are less likely to reach the higher echelons of science, as is demonstrably the case, the reasons are many and complex. Interventions to get girls into the physical sciences at A levels and beyond have to be part of this equation, and campaigns such as the WISE Campaign ‘People like me’  launched last month, or resources produced by the Institute of Physics for teachers and pupils alike are important; possibly so is the Pretty Curious campaign recently launched by EDF, although that has had a mixed reception. My own view of these critical early years are that it is the media, parents and society in general who collectively produce a culture where many girls have to fight against the stream if they are to stick with subjects such as physics. Unfortunately society is a tricky beast to tame and change.

What should be easier to modify is what happens thereafter. By this stage it is more likely to be the behaviour of peers and more senior STEM professionals that matters rather than something as abstract as society. The Athena Swan awards have done much to raise awareness and yet still change is slow to come. I have just come back from an ERC Scientific Council meeting where the issue of the relatively lower success rate of women compared with men was discussed (yet again), with the effect being most pronounced in, surprisingly perhaps, the Life Sciences domain. It is all too easy to point fingers at the panels and scream sexist foul. But, increasingly, I am coming to believe the fault lies not with the funders (the ERC or any of the UK Research Councils and charities), or at least not solely with them but with the microinequities closer to home.

Are the young women sponsored/mentored/ advised to the same extent as the young men? Do they feel as confident to ask for help from their colleagues and if not why not? Have they had the same opportunities to present high level talks at international conferences as their male colleagues (given the number of all-male conference platforms still occurring the answer to that is pretty obvious) and has their work been fairly recognized in first name papers? Unfortunately, all too often I fear the answer to these questions will come out to the women’s detriment. Some evidence, although most certainly not proof, that the problem may lie in their home communities and not in the panels’ delinquent behaviour can be found in the fact that ERC Advanced Investigator grants is where the difference in success rates is smallest, indeed all but zero. Women whose experience and track records have enabled them to stick with the academic path to these highest ranks and for whom the support of others is probably least important, match the men in success, even though their absolute numbers are small.

So we should all look close to home and at our own behaviour towards the Ada’s of tomorrow we encounter. Do we encourage, support and champion their actions, or do we look the other way and leave it to others? Let Ada Lovelace Day be a day to reflect on our own behaviour before casting stones at other people and institutions. #just1action4WIS.

Posted in Equality, Women in Science | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment