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Retaining Female Scientists

Efforts that encourage women to pursue STEM careers surpass those aimed at keeping them in those fields, according to the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

By | February 12, 2014

WIKIMEDIA, EPAIn a report published last month (January 15), the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee applauded the U.K. government’s efforts to encourage women to pursue STEM careers, but suggested that efforts focused on retaining women in those fields are lacking. Female researchers are most likely to leave science as they are progressing in their careers, the committee noted. Within the realm of academic research, this trend has been dubbed the “leaky pipeline.”

In an opinion piece appearing in The Scientist this month, Baylor College of Medicine’s Huda Zoghbi and Nobel laureate Paul Greengard from Rockefeller University propose several ways in which institutions might help female scientists become—and remain—leaders in the lab. “The sciences as a whole suffer when women choose alternate paths, and the United States, which is already fighting fiercely to remain competitive in an increasingly sophisticated global science scene, loses ground each time a woman puts her scientific curiosity on the back burner,” they wrote.

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