INTELLIGENT WOMEN SELECTIONS
Nature 4 February 2010 Volume 463 Number 7281
Women: diversity among leaders is there if you look
Nancy C. Andrews, Sally Kornbluth and Doug Stokke
A disappointing myopia seems to have afflicted your ‘2020 visions’ (Nature 463, 26–32; 2010), with just one female among the 20 contributors. This sends the wrong message at a time when women scientists are still striving for better representation. Diversity among thought leaders is there if you look for it. You no longer have to look far among academics. Today, for example, women of vision are heads of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Harvard, Princeton and Brown universities; and the universities of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Cambridge. Consider the Nobel prize. In 2009, it was awarded to five women (three of them scientists) and eight men, the narrowest gender gap since its inception. The scientific community in 2020 should reflect the talent pipeline of 2010. Women are now well placed, if they stay the course, to enhance diversity in science. But they will need encouragement, support and opportunities if the barriers that have traditionally stymied diversity are to drop away.
Women: why just one to represent half the workforce?
Joan M. Herbers
your prognostications about the future of science (Nature 463, 26–32; 2010), you might have featured only women as authors, given that the ancient prophesying Sibyls were always female. However, there was just one woman among the twenty writers. We trust that ten years from now we shall not have to remind Nature that nearly half of working scientists (and Nature readers) are women.