Women in Science: The Way Forward ∙ Heidelberg, Germany ∙ 7-11 May 2007

Co-Action Publishing recently participated in the conference Women in Science: The Way Forward, part of the SET-Routes initiative, a collaboration between EMBL, EMBO and CERN with funding from the European Commission. Speaker profiles and abstracts can be found here. The organizers are also working to make available web casts of the lectures that were delivered.

According to the “She Figures 2006” published by the European Commission, 54% of European students entering universities in 2006 were women, but this figure gradually and then dramatically declines as we follow career development, such that women hold only 15% of the highest research posts within the EU. The conference examined some of the reasons for this male overrepresentation at the top of the career ladder, including pervasive gender stereo-types regarding the “differences between men and women” and gave room to discussing best practices and initiatives that have had a real impact on women’s successful career progression. An intimate marketplace provided an opportunity for exhibitors and participants to share practices, knowledge and network with one another.

Publishing activity is an important building block for academic careers and it was therefore of interest for Co-Action Publishing to participate in the conference, both to share knowledge and to learn from women scientists about the challenges they face. Our belief that Open Access can contribute to leveling out the academic playing field between women and men was strengthened by the discussions of this conference. See Why Women in Academia Should Embrace Open Access where we list the reasons why Open Access may be particularly good for women scientists.