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Boost careers of female scientists: Make sure women help choose meeting speakers
Date:1/6/2014

January 7, 2014 (BRONX, NY) More women are choosing science careers, yet women are notoriously underrepresented in senior academic positionsoften because they abandon their careers due to pessimism about advancement. New research suggests that putting more women in decision-making roles on the teams that organize symposia could offer a simple, effective step forward.

Women have made dramatic gains in obtaining science degrees over the past four decades. Only 13 percent of Ph.D.s in life sciences went to women in 1970, whereas 52 percent of Ph.D.s in life sciences went to women in 2011. However, in its 2010 report on gender differences in scientific careers, the National Research Council found that "women continued to be underrepresented among academic faculty relative to the number receiving science and engineering degrees."

Now, a study in the January/February 2014 issue of the journal mbio and led by a researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has identified a strategy for helping women climb the academic ladder. "Put at least one woman on the team that organizes a scientific symposium, and that team will be much more likely to invite female speakers," said study co-author Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology & immunology at Einstein, director of the College of Medicine's Center for Immunological Sciences, and attending physician at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.

The authors looked at scientific symposia involving nearly 2,000 speakers at three large general meetings sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology in 2011 through 2
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Contact: Kim Newman
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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