Archive for September 9th, 2010

Congressional Briefing on Issues Affecting Women in Science

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 9, 2010 11:39 am

As I announced last week, I’ll be moderating a Congressional briefing co-organized by Discover Magazine and L’Oréal USA on Women in Science. Here’s a glimpse at the press release out today:

L’Oréal USA Convenes Congressional Briefing on Issues Affecting Women in Science

New Research Reveals Gender-Based Barriers Driving Female Scientists from the Field

Congressional briefing explores the issues and opportunities

The congressional briefing, For Women in Science: 21st Century Policy & Politics, sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, will be held on Sept. 23, 2010, in Washington, D.C. A panel of distinguished experts will explore whether state and federal public policy are promoting or hindering the advancement of female scientists; how the broader application of Title IX has influenced women pursuing science education and careers; and whether the emphasis on gender diversity in the workplace has become mainstream in scientific disciplines. The briefing will also consider the opportunities for government, the private sector and academia to address the barriers facing women in scientific disciplines.

“The contributions of female scientists are critical to U.S. advancements in science and economic growth,” said Frédéric Rozé, President and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal USA. “By convening this congressional briefing, L’Oréal USA hopes to renew national dialogue about breaking barriers and forging new paths for women in science.”

The congressional briefing will feature the following panelists:

  • Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
  • Dr. Shirley Malcom, Head of Education and Human Resources, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Pr. Joan Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University
  • Pr. Sara Seager, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Sheril Kirshenbaum, Author of Unscientific America and Science Blogger for (Moderator)

New research offers compelling insights

The panel will also address results from the newly-released survey of 1,300 female and male scientists, conducted by AAAS and commissioned by L’Oréal USA, on the barriers women encounter in pursuit of scientific careers. Survey respondents included male and female scientists who hold doctoral degrees and are registered users of Science online, including members of AAAS. The national research revealed significant new insights on the extent to which barriers affect men and women differently and the best means to overcome these obstacles.

  • Female scientists face unique, gender-based barriers in career advancement
  • 61 percent of female scientists who participated in the study have personally struggled balancing life and career
  • More than half of female respondents (52 percent) have experienced gender bias
  • More than one in three female scientists who participated in the survey (37 percent) faced barriers in having/raising children
  • Half of all female respondents (50 percent) cited challenges with child care support as a major barrier for individuals working in the science field

Read more at Forbes


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