Grade-school girls ask fewer questions of their science teachers than their boy classmates do. Young women in high school tend to favor social acceptability over scientific proficiency-even though they have the ability for both. Undergraduate women question whether they can balance a career in science with a family. Female graduate students in the hard sciences consider themselves fortunate if they have one woman in their department to serve as a role model or mentor. And postgraduate women scientists wonder if they will ever make department chairperson or dean, since so few women before them have achieved those positions.

TIME TO EXCEL: A Clare Boothe Luce professorship provided Harvey Mudd College's Shenda Baker with money for child care.
Foundations have begun to attack these issues head-on. Some philanthropists provide female scientist role models for grade-school children. Some foundations back mentoring for female undergraduate and graduate school scientists. Others fund female professorships...

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