from BioScience Technology, by Cynthia Fox, August 25, 2015
Scientists are hailing an Australian institute’s unusual raft of initiatives aimed at wiping out science gender gaps.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research Director Douglas Hilton’s battery of new policies include “hot desks” for scientists’ children; a breastfeeding room; conference travel pay for scientists’ children and minders; grants for female lab heads; technical help and potential job sharing for post doc moms; accelerated post-doc tracks. Some new policies are so aggressive they aren’t allowed in the US because they support women with kids, but not men. When Hilton came on board five years ago, he saw none of his 20 department heads and senior professors were women, despite a female director, he wrote in Nature. The remedy was “simple,” he wrote: he upped the number to four, and asked his women post docs what to do next.