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  • > Women researchers absent from highest rungs of the profession - Updated: 02-03-2007 3:11 pm
    23 year-old Hansi Devi repairs a solar lantern at the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan, India ©Peter Coles.jpg Even if they are far from reaching parity with their males colleagues, more females than ever are researchers. But they remain largely absent from the highest rungs of the profession and must often make difficult choices between professional career and private life.

    In his article published online in the UNESCO Courier (2007, no. 2) Peter Coles tells us that according to one observer in the USA, women are “rare as hens teeth” in mathematics and physics.


    For Renée Clair, UNESCO Executive Secretary of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme, the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing (China) marked a turning point in awareness of this gender bias in science. “Before that, the issue didn’t even arise,” she says, blaming ingrained and largely unconscious stereotypes that promote the idea that women “aren’t made to do science.”


    Meanwhile, other obstacles are beginning to emerge. In countries like India, with its technology boom, young women are preferring to go for highly-paid jobs in information technology – ironically once an all-male preserve, but increasingly dominated by women.


    To read Peter Coles’ article in full (UNESCO Courier 2007, no. 2) click below.

    To contact Renée Clair, UNESCO Executive Secretary of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme


    Author(s) Peter Coles
    Periodical Name UNESCO Courier
    Publication date February 2007
    Publisher UNESCO
    Publication Location Paris
    Periodical Website


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