Targeting Women: Policy Issues Relating to Women's Representation in Professional Scientific Employment
Successive UK governments have a long history of making statements on the 'women and science' issue. If their aim of increasing the number of women in science is to be realized, both overall and at different occupational and educational levels, there needs to be an understanding that the issue needs to be disaggregated into different phases. Women's representation in scientific employment comprises at least four phases: qualifying, entry/overall recruitment, retention and advancement. Focusing on the UK, evidence is presented of these four phases, and it is argued that each phase has different policy implications as well as different data requirements. Furthermore the case is put forward that an acceptance that retention and advancement are the key issues requiring change implies a research and policy focus on scientific institutions and structures, rather than just on agency.
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