In the November 2007 issue of EMBO reports , two articles and an editorial address the issue of lack of gender balance in Science, especially at the highest level of career. The NIH study presented by Martinez et al. points out at family reasons and less confidence of women scientists as main reasons for many female scientists not to proceed in their scientific careers. Moreover, Ledin et al. observe also "subtle differences in the average applications of men and women... are reflected by lower success rates for women. In addition, there remains a pervasive culture of negative bias whether conscious or unconscious against women in academia, resulting in a lack of professional support and networking." see also Gerlind Wallon letter on fellowsNet.
Somehow it seems that the workplace, and maybe not only in Science, it is still dominated by "male" rules and presence and this makes it very difficult to assure that scientists, that happen to be women, meet the same opportunities.
Similar conclusions were reported in 2007 September issue of EurActive newsletter, in an interview to Dr. Maren A. Jochimsen (Secretary General of the European Platform of Women Scientists, EPWS ) with the title "EU fails potential of highly qualified women scientists" .
"Persistent gender stereotypes, predominantly male decision-making bodies, the lack of transparency in recruitment procedures and the operation of 'old boys networks' to which women often do not have access result in the EU losing the potential of highly-qualified women scientist". One of the measures to change this unbalanced situation suggested in the interview is "the strengthening of networking among women scientists at national, regional, and EU level, and raising awareness in the scientific community as well as among policy makers on the issue of equal opportunities in science and research". EPWS is funded by the European Community as part of the Science and Society Action Plan.