On Increasing Gender Diversity in STEM

November 12, 2019

Twenty-three scientists who met last year in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., to discuss a major report on sexual harassment in their fields have published a paper on their findings and recommendations in Science. The new paper says that women experience "substantial, gender-specific barriers that can impede their advancement in research careers," including unconscious biases that negatively influence the perception of women's abilities, and social and cultural factors such as the unequal distribution of domestic labor.

Recommended policy changes must be coupled with "vigorous and continuous outcomes-based monitoring," the paper says, and must include requiring researchers to disclose harassment findings and settlements to funding agencies and potential employers. Other recommendations are increased transparency in start-up packages, salaries and internal grant funding to discourage gendered pay gaps, and fostering work-life balance through specific family-friendly policies.

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