Women today form the majority of university students but few stay on to become professors or reach other higher academic positions. This â€œleaky pipelineâ€ phenomena is most often associated with science and technology fields but also concerns research positions in the private sector.
What causes this steady attrition of women? A report by the European Commission suggests that women may drop out at the beginning of their careers due to lack of support, role models and mentorship. At later stages, women abandon their work mainly because they find it too hard to balance career with personal life. Flexible working arrangements are proposed at some places, but women taking advantage of these benefits are often seen as less committed to the job.
Women also often find a â€œchilly climateâ€ at higher levels with unequal opportunities, isolation and exclusion due to the usual clichÃ©s and stereotypes of a â€œmanâ€™s worldâ€.
What is the situation in your country? How can the â€œleaky pipelineâ€ be fixed?
Source: Women in science and technology