Is science still a man? Women’s representation in science

Marek Młodożeniec, Anna Knapińska


Women's representation among academic staff is increasing, but women still have problems with getting promoted to the higher career levels. Authors present data from the Polish Scientists Database and the OSF system; on the basis of the retrieved data they try to find some of the causes of gender inequality in science (biological and cultural differences, historical influence, “glass ceiling”, “leaky pipeline”, “vanish box”, “sticky floor”). They also put forward arguments for and against the gender equalization in science, including the issue of self-discrimination among women. Finally, the article describes methods of gender equalization; the methods can be described in four dimensions: the equal opportunities, the meritocracy, the special contribution and the alternative values. In conclusion, authors suggest starting the open debate over new perception of science (satisfying human needs, response to key ethical problems etc.), in which women would play an important part.


science; equality; gender; women

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