Why So Few Women Bioscientists at the Podium?

If visual impact correctly represented the position and participation of women in the biosciences, we could all join the Hallelujah Chorus and say the battle for recognition of women has been won and that further efforts could be laid to rest. Yes, it is true that more women have obtained junior staff appointments and that a few have even obtained senior appointments, more so than would have happened 10 years ago. But can one really say that women are hired in proportion to their numbers and acc

Rose Johnstone
May 3, 1987
If visual impact correctly represented the position and participation of women in the biosciences, we could all join the Hallelujah Chorus and say the battle for recognition of women has been won and that further efforts could be laid to rest. Yes, it is true that more women have obtained junior staff appointments and that a few have even obtained senior appointments, more so than would have happened 10 years ago. But can one really say that women are hired in proportion to their numbers and accomplishments in graduate school? Or that women are delivering papers in vivo in proportion to the numbers in attendance at scientific meetings?

A quick—and far from precise—nose count at the International Congress of Biochemistry in Amsterdam in August 1985 showed that 20 percent of the participants were women. But while many women presented posters or were major research contributors to the work reported at...