Women in academia: one step forward, two steps back?

This morning, I was happy to discover this new website from 4 Dutch female full professors: Athena's angels.

Many people assume that men and women have equal opportunities to be successful in an academic career. Yet women continue to be approached and treated differently than men, in ways that impact on their scientific career prospects. This website is designed to elucidate the specific challenges women have to overcome to realize their scientific ambitions, and where possible eliminate these.

Their website explains what gender bias is, and gives examples of what everyday sexism looks like (in Dutch only). I think it is great that prominent females scientists highlight these issues.

But in the afternoon we were thrown back into the 50s by this week's "Ask Alice" advice from Science Careers. Since Science Careers was quick to remove the piece, you can read it archived here. A post-doc asks advice about her PI trying to look down her shirt and Alice advices:

As long as your adviser does not move on to other advances, I suggest you put up with it, with good humor if you can. Just make sure that he is listening to you and your ideas, taking in the results you are presenting, and taking your science seriously. His attention on your chest may be unwelcome, but you need his attention on your science and his best advice.

Yup, so much for my optimism from this morning...

Edit: Science Careers just issued an apology.


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