I found a very interesting article that I think any female scientist in academia should read, especially if you’re considering industry after graduation.
March 8th was International Women’s Day, a day when many people paused to look back and see how far we’ve come in terms of gender inequality. In industrial and academic science, women definitely have an increased presence. However, one problem hasn’t received as much attention, and as far as I know, is rarely discussed among women in science. Alison McCook wrote a Nature news article about the rather stark absence of female scientists when it comes to academics leading discoveries in industry—particularly serving on scientific advisory boards. She found that it was not due to a lack of qualified candidates, and contrary to most arguments, it was not primarily due to women’s focus on family responsibilities either. Instead, she found that the major cause was actually a lack of invitation. Maybe it’s the assumption that a female scientist with children wouldn’t have time to serve on the board, or that one rejected invitation by a woman turns the company founder away from considering others. Regardless, the facts are astonishing and highlight that, where academia crosses into industry, things are not as equal as they might seem.