#ChangeTheNumbers: When the numbers don’t add up, it’s time for change

The L’Oréal Foundation today published its exclusive study with OpinionWay showing the prejudices women face in the eyes of Europeans.

The L’Oréal Foundation today published its exclusive study with OpinionWay showing the prejudices women face in the eyes of Europeans.

David Macdonald, director of philanthropy For Women in Science, revealed that the scientific gender gap is wider than Europeans think at a Paris press conference Wednesday morning.

Driven by the findings, gathered from more than 5000 women and men in France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain, the L’Oréal Foundation announced a global digital campaign to redress the preconceptions revealed by the survey and #ChangeTheNumbers !





Sexism is a scientific problem


An incredible 67% of Europeans think women don’t have the skills for top positions in science. Just 10% of respondents believe that women possess the qualities for science in particular. Among the shortcomings of female gender are: a lack of perseverance, of rational thought, of practicality, of rigor, of a scientific spirit and an analytical mind.


Women’s share of Europe’s top scientific roles: 11%


The study shows that the scientific gender gap is wider than people actually think. Respondents estimated that women hold 28% of the highest scientific functions within the European Union on average. The real figure is even lower. Women hold only 11% of the top academic positions in science in the EU.


Name famous scientists? For 71% they’re only male


When asked to name scientists, with no mention of gender, 71% of respondents named men and 33% gave women's names. In France, Marie Curie was the only woman whose name came up spontaneously.


The good news: there’s a will to #ChangeTheNumbers


On discovering that a paltry 3% of Nobel Prizes in the sciences have been awarded to women, 63% of respondents would like to see an increase to 50/50. And 59% found the 3-point evolution of women’s place in scientific research over 10 years from 26% in 2000 to 29% in 2010, too slow.


#ChangeTheNumbers: Inspired by the study’s findings, the L’Oréal Foundation today launches #ChangeTheNumbers a digital international campaign to shift attitudes, redress the misconceptions and promote women in science.


Challenge your knowledge of women in science and spread the message: www.changethenumbers.science

Together we can #ChangeTheNumbers




L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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