International Women’s Day: The Gender Agenda in Science and Engineering

A few days ago, I had the opportunity and pleasure to attend a very interesting lecture  – albeit with some depressing stats – by Prof Lesley Yellowlees on The Gender Agenda in Science and Engineering.

Lesley became the first woman President of the Royal Society of Chemistry in July 2012 and is currently Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. She was awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to science, and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012.

Clearly, a very successful woman by all accounts.

Sadly, also one of the very few women to climb the highest ranks of an academic career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) sector.

So, why are women so under-represented in STEM subjects?

What are the barriers they face from the moment they graduate?

And perhaps more importantly, what can be done to change the current status quo?

These are some of the questions that Lesley addresses in her lecture. And yes, things are changing. But slowly.

It’s been estimated that if we move at this rate, equality between female and male academics in STEM subjects will be achieved in 100 years from now! A bleak prospect. But at least in the right direction.

I hope you’ll enjoy the video.


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