An international organizing committee led by Susan Wray (University of Liverpool, UK) hosted three sessions focusing on different stages of the academic career, where women may typically encounter difficulty in progressing.
The first session ‘why mentoring and sponsorship works’ examined why women are more likely to be mentored but are less likely to advance in their careers. It opened with the now infamous scissors diagram showing the attrition of women from academic positions in relation to seniority. Chaired by Caroline McMillen (The University of Newcastle, Australia) the panel shared their experiences of mentoring and sponsorship and how women are often not actively sponsored in the same way as men.
The second session ‘Juggling balls – family and physiology’ provided perspectives of developing a work-life balance. The end of the session saw the launch of the The Physiological Society’s new booklet, Women in Physiology, celebrating female physiologists.
The final session allowed speakers Nancy Rothwell (University of Manchester, UK) and Ole Petersen (Cardiff University, UK) to discuss the ‘glass ceiling’.
Throughout 2013 the Biochemical Society will celebrate the past, present and future influence of women with interests in the molecular biosciences with a series of new initiatives, events and activities.