In 2019, Anaïs Llorens and Athina Tzovara — one a current, the other a former University of California, Berkeley, postdoctoral scholar at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) — were attending a scientific meeting and pleased that one session, on gender bias in academia, attracted nearly a full house. The problem: The audience of some 300 was almost all women.
Where were the men, they wondered? More than 75% of all tenured faculty in Ph.D. programs around the world are men, making their participation key to solving the problem of gender bias, which negatively impacts the careers, work-life balance and mental health of all women in science, and even more so for minority women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“If they are not on board, and they don’t feel that this is also their fight, then nothing will change,” Llorens said.