Science for heroines

Marta Łazarowicz-Kowalik


Even though the discrimination against women in science have been studied for at least half of the century and any many actions have been taken to promote careers of female researchers, their chances are still far from equal. Many barriers have disappeared, but increasingly precarious model of academic career makes it more difficult for women. The interviews conducted with laureates of prestigious competitions by the Foundation for Polish Science allowed for analysis of what Polish researchers think about the role of gender and parenthood in academic career. The have also served to identify factors that were crucial – according to the interviewed female scientists – for their success in science. As the interviews indicate, the requirements od academic career are the same in case of both: men and women, which could suggest lack of discrimination. On the other hand, the expectation that women will be able to meet the criteria set up by male experiences does not mean equal playing field. To assess real chances for academic success, other non-academic aspects of researchers’ life need to be taken into consideration, especially their limitations for dedicating time to research and for mobility. Young researchers – men as well as women – experience increasing uncertainty in regard to their academic future. Growing competition for employment and research funding, makes it much more difficult for women to fulfil the expectations of a fast-track, mobile career. The interviews formed the basis for identification of support mechanisms in this respect.


research career; gender; discrimination; mobility; working hours

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