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Resource centre for women in sciences in UK

A new website ‘Science, Engineering, Technology - SET for Women’ – developed by the JIVE consortium of Bradford College, Sheffield Hallam, Open and Cambridge Universities – aims to support the UK government’s ten-year investment framework for ‘Science and Innovation’.

Its goal is to establish a dynamic centre providing “accessible, high-quality information and advisory services to industry, academia, professional institutes, education and Research Councils within the Science, Engineering, Technology - SET”. Supporting women entering and progressing in SET careers is paramount to achieving this.

Services on the site include weblogs, mentoring and career advice for women working or planning to work in SET, a women experts database, links to research councils and women’s groups, statistics on employment in the UK, current vacancies in SET, news, events, and more.

Visit the site: http://www.setwomenresource.org.uk/

The European effort

Through its ‘Women and science’ initiatives, the European Commission has worked to get women more involved, not only in the sciences, but also in engineering and technology based careers. This is important both to gain greater equality in the workplace and also to overcome the shortage of qualified research professionals reported by EU-appointed experts in April 2004.

Some progress is being made but the evidence still points to a gender imbalance in the labs of Europe. This, according to the high-level group charged with the task of surveying the status and needs of human resources for science and technology in Europe, is a “serious shortcoming”.

Today, women make up over half of the student population, and the majority (56%) of graduates in higher education in Europe. But in SET the balance still favours men. As reported by the European Commission, although there are more women in research than ever before, they only account for 30% of EU science and engineering graduates. And the figures don’t improve in the workforce: 35% of the researchers in the public sector and just 18% of the business and enterprise sector of the European research community. Despite evidence of the high quality of their research work, progress of women in science appears to remain slow.

“The European Commission is keen to promote equal and full participation by women in all scientific disciplines and at all organisational levels. Achieving such a real and lasting change goes beyond women currently working in science, or aspiring to work in science: it helps create a more inclusive European scientific research area, for the benefit of the economy and society as a whole”.

To read more: http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/headlines/news/article_05_09_23_en.html


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