Claire Morandin – The Gender Gap in Science and Medicine
The second Making Waves seminar is coming up on Thursday 12 November. Making Waves seminars feature a talk by an expert speaker followed by group discussions. The events have moved to take place entirely online.
If you are interested in attending this event but cannot come in person, it will also be possible to join online. Please sign up via the registration link and select "attend online".
More and more publications have raised concerned of the significant and alarming gender differences in the productivity and influence of academic careers across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In their 2018, Hollman et al. PLoS Biology paper, the authors found that there is a striking shortage of women in many fields of science and medicine. They analysed the names of authors listed on 36 millions of scientific papers over recent decades. They projected that given the current (slow) rate of progress, it will take hundreds of years to close the gender gap in many fields. Following this first study, Dr Hollman and I used this dataset to look at patterns of collaboration within and between genders. We found that researchers have strong tendency to collaborate with same-gendered colleagues, in essentially all fields of research.
Without further interventions, the gender gap in STEM is likely to persist for generations, particularly in surgery, computer science, physics and maths. In this talk, I will present the results of these two studies, to try to understand why the gender gap is likely to persist for generations. We must highlight the practical measures that are already known that could help close the gap.
Claire Morandin received her PhD from the University of Helsinki and currently holds an EMBO long-term fellowship with the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), studying molecular evolution and caste determination in social insects, using genomic tools.