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Top 10 Ways to Keep Women in Science: Pomona College Professor's List Published in Top Science Journal

The life sciences journal The Scientist has published Pomona College Professor Laura L. Mays Hoopes’ list of the Top 10 things male scientists can do to help women stay in science. The list can be found on the journal’s website at

The National Science Foundation’s surveys show that while women are 45 percent of the graduates of top US graduate programs, women are still only about 15 percent of the full professors at the major research universities. The National Academies released a report on the need to improve the numbers of women scientists in academia in late 2006, called Beyond Bias and Barriers.

Among Hoopes’ tips are:

1. “Call a woman scientist from time to time, to chat about science, a recent breakthrough, your puzzling results, their puzzling results.”

3. “If you're on a hiring or tenure committee, don't start reading the files until after you review the primary literature on unconscious bias...”

9. “When you are looking for a nominee for an award (I'm not talking about the awards for the BEST WOMAN, I'm talking about research awards in general), replace that "young hotshot man" image with a "young hotshot woman" image. Or even an "old hotshot woman." If you don't know anyone to consider, e-mail me at and I can suggest someone.”

10. “When you're spoiling for a fight, call the National Library of Medicine and complain that you can't properly track the publications women have produced for your award committee because they have no way to let PubMed know all of their different names so they can be connected in one list of publications.”

The list of tips is slated for publication in the January 2008 print edition of The Scientist. The journal is running the article online now to “spark discussion online of gender bias in science” and is asking for readers to “suggest other things men can do to level the playing field. They plan to publish the best comments with Hoopes’ original list.

Since the list’s publication today, Hoopes has already been contacted by one search committee chair asking for candidate suggestions, two women scientists cheering her on, and a man at NASA reporting that their databases do link women’s changing names.

Hoopes is the Halstead-Bent Professor of Biology at Pomona College. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University and her A.B. from Goucher College. She is an
active member of the Association for Women in Science and writes regularly for the society’s publication, AWIS Magazine.

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