Paul Walton on gender equality

Gender equality in science: why is it taking so long?

Prof. Paul Walton, Department of Chemistry, University of York, UK

Over nearly all scientific organisations, across every country and across time one finds that the progression of women in research/academia is significantly hindered when compared to men.  Such a universal truth represents an enormous loss of talent, including in our very own bioinorganic community.

Recent years have seen some progress in understanding the principal factors behind this phenomenon and there has been some progress in new schemes which are designed to address the lack of women in senior scientific positions.  These schemes have also met with some resistance which, in itself, has been revealing of the reasons why there is such a difference in the progression rates of men and women in science.  This presentation discusses some of those resistances: why they arise; what they reveal about gender (in)equality in our universities, laboratories, groups; and—most importantly—what can be done about them.