April 24, 2018 (Phys.org) -- A University of Cambridge researcher is calling for the voices of women to be given a fairer platform at a leading scientific conference.
Dr. Heather Ford and her colleagues analyzed data from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting and found that, overall; female scientists are offered fewer opportunities than men to present their research.
The team examined the gender, career stage and type of presentation delivered by each participant from 2014 to 2016. They found that female members are at a disadvantage because the majority of them are students or in the early stages of their careers, groups whose members are typically given fewer chances to present their research. The results are reported in the journal Nature Communications.
Conference speakers are often at more senior stages of their careers, where there are usually fewer women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields. A further problem is that men are more likely to provide speaking opportunities to other men, potentially limiting women's career prospects.