Almost half of British women scientists fear their gender might harm their promotion prospects, according to a new survey conducted by the Athena Project, a UK initiative to advance women in science.

The survey, which questioned over 2000 university scientists and engineers in the United Kingdom, found women sat on fewer committees and held fewer positions of responsibility both within their department and their institution. At institution level, 93% of women held no positions of authority.

The survey asked lecturers, senior lecturers, and readers whether they had received encouragement to apply for a promotion. At both levels, men were more likely than women to have received such encouragement.

The results also suggested some women do not feel valued in their departments. Over one fifth of female professors felt their senior colleagues were unsupportive, and almost a third of women did not feel that their department celebrated successes in their...

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