The evident under-representation of women in physics has broad implications, particularly for industries and government agencies with a strong need for a technically educated workforce. The global scientific workforce is failing to use a large fraction of its talent pool. The shortage of women physicists in academia exacerbates the situation in that female students lack exposure to successful women in the field. The nature and magnitude of the problem varies from country to country, but with remarkable consistency, the percentage of women in physics in all countries decreases markedly with each step up the academic ladder and with each level of promotion in industrial and national laboratories. The result is a dearth of women among physicists in leadership positions in these sectors worldwide. Nor are women well represented among physicists in top research institutes, funding agencies, professional societies and government. Yet women who do reach these top positions appear to command as much or more resect as their male peers. It may sound like a tautology, but the way to encourage women in physics is to have more women. More women mean more female peers, more female role models, more mentors and more networks. Women now in positions of authority in physics have a special responsibility to demonstrate their commitment and take a leadership role in implementing it. The single most important factor - the necessary in some cases even sufficient factor - in increasing the participation of women in physics may well be the commitment and support of top management.
Proceedings Title: Women in Physics, IUPAP International Conference | |Women in Physics: The IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics | AIP
Conference Dates: March 7-9, 2002
Conference Location: Paris, FR
Conference Title: AIP Conference Proceedings
Pub Type: Conferences
gender schemas, glass ceiling, IUPAP, physicists, under-representation, women