Gender Roles and their Impact in Academia (EMBO | EMBL | HHMI Conference)
Women are not rising to the higher echelons of any career in the numbers expected based on the number of women entering universities and the workforce. Debates have focused on biology and societal structures as explanations for this phenomenon.
With this conference, we want to explore our understanding of how gender roles may be shaped by biology and by social structures. We will ask how the progression of men and women in academic and related careers is influenced by the linkages between biology, society, and gender roles. An important part of the conference will be a focus on solutions: taking into account biology and social structures, what do all people need to enjoy equal opportunities in work, in general, and academic advancement, in particular? What institutional support and higher-level policies are needed to assure that “opportunity” does not mean merely “possibility”, but that those work and advancement goals can be realistically attained by those who want them?
The conference will focus on the situation in academia and related institutions, but we expect a more extensive discussion on gender roles in work. In addition to the plenary talks, there will be breakout sessions to allow more focus on the areas of workplace and society and on practical issues around encouraging and recognising a more inclusive view of merit.
A report of the outcomes of the discussions from this conference, and from an invitational analytic policy workshop to be held afterwards, will be widely distributed to academic institutional leadership and related decision-makers, and to all interested stakeholders.