Four steps to killing off sexism in science

Published in the Guardian, Seirian Sumner (Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol) discusses how to get more women into top roles in Universities.

‘The paucity of role models for female scientists reinforces the stereotype of science as the preserve of middle-aged bearded men in white coats. There are numerous initiatives to dispel this image, such as the Wise campaign , Science Grrl and Soapbox Science. We’ve had some positive feedback on the Soapbox science events I run with my colleague, Nathalie Pettorelli. In Newcastle, one parent said that the best part for her had been the reaction of her daughter, who saw a female scientist for the first time there. Around 80% of visitors felt inspired to find out more about the subject covered. A school pupil at a London event said it had “led me to believe that women can also excel and attain success in such a complex field.” It’s early days yet, but these kinds of grassroots events are a a vast improvement on some of the efforts from the “experts”, such as the European Commission’s awkward “Science: it’s a girl thing” campaign.’

Follow the link to read the whole article – Sexism in Science









Do we need more role models?  Who is yours?  Are you a role model to someone?  Could you be a role model?

Take care, female students – you owe it to yourselves

On the 6th May 2015 Jinan Younis published an article in the Guardian:  ‘Worn down by a toxic blend of stereotyping, relentless deadlines and guilt, women at universities are making time for a bit of self care’














From the article – ‘I was halfway through my second year at university before I fully understood the idea of self care. At first, it sounded like something medical, only to be attempted if recommended by a doctor. But self care, or actively looking after yourself in a healthy way, is something many young people practice shamelessly; it is not only empowering, but necessary.  University brings a massive change in lifestyle – and for me, it was neither comfortable nor thrilling. It was a departure from my sheltered home life and the beginning of the road to looking after myself – something I’m still not entirely sure I know how to do. My university experience has exacerbated underlying problems that many young girls in our society face: issues to do with self-confidence and self-worth. What I find most difficult to deal with is the pace of life – there’s no break. I have deadlines to complete work, and if I miss them, then I’m a failure. But if I don’t focus on making long-lasting friendships, then am I missing out on a proper university experience? And if I dare to watch TV? Well, that’s just a complete waste of time.’

What do you think?  Do you agree?